Mosaic has marked the announcement of a special partnership with Marks and Spencer (M&S) to help boost pupils’ employability prospects with a day-long entrepreneurial event featuring ‘Dragon’ and entrepreneur Touker Suleyman.
The ‘Spark Someone’s Future’ initiative, hosted by the retail giant, invited pupils from seven schools to be given the unique opportunity to design and market a Rio 2016 Olympic inspired t-shirt for a teenage audience, which will be sold by M&S.
The students were placed into teams and formed companies that saw them working with students from other schools, taking part in the same processes that all M&S teams would have to; requiring them to create the concept, explore aspects of the commercial plan and market research; as well as outlining social media and digital marketing plans.
The day ended with each team presenting their t-shirt design and marketing strategy to a senior panel of judges that included: Touker Suleyman, entrepreneur and star of Dragon’s Den; Mike Barry, M&S Plan A Director; Alex Dimitriu, M&S Kidwear Head of Buying; and Krishan Hundal, M&S GM Technology Director. The winning design will be invited back to finalise their concept, with the t-shirt being sold in the retailer’s stores around the UK.
Nizam Uddin, Mosaic’s Head of Communications, present on the day said: “M&S have truly put on a unique experience for our young people that money can’t buy. This is a natural extension of the Mosaic mentoring programmes, where our volunteer mentors – many from M&S – help guide our young people through their career choices among other character-building activities. Having the ability to ground this advice in practicality is such an invaluable development, and also demonstrates M&S’ commitment to support Mosaic’s work, for which we are thankful and delighted in equal measure. I can’t wait to come back next year!”.
This is the first year of Mosaic’s working relationship with M&S on this initiative, and plans are already in place to repeat the Spark Someone’s Future event next year. Preferential access to the scheme will be offered to schools and young people that have participated in Mosaic’s mentoring programmes.