A team of young entrepreneurs from Skinners’ Academy in Hackney has won the London Regional Final of the 2017 Enterprise Challenge competition.
Team YouTe@ch from Skinners’ Academy beat stiff competition from teams from Eden Girls’ School in Waltham Forest, London Enterprise Academy in Whitechapel, Southfields Academy in Wandsworth and St Paul’s Way Trust School in Tower Hamlets. Their winning idea centred on an exclusive video sharing platform, YouTe@ch, reserved exclusively for schools and aimed at nurturing engagement around revision, careers and talent. All finalists had beaten hundreds of students from other schools across the region to reach the final.
The competing teams pitched their ideas in a Dragons’ Den style event to a prestigious panel of judges, including: Saker Nusseibeh, CEO of Hermes Investment Management; Rowland Gee, Director of Retail Success Ltd; Nick Howe, Regional Enterprise Manager of RBS (Natwest); Haseena Lockhat, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Chairman of the Mosaic West Midlands; and Roxana Mohammadian CEO of Paros Capital.
Team YouTe@ch will now progress to the Enterprise Challenge Grand Final in London on 17th May where they will compete against winning schools from the North West, West Midlands, South East, Yorkshire and Scotland for the chance to become national champions.
The overall winning team will win a prize of £2,500 for their school plus a further £500 to invest in developing their business idea and making it a commercial reality. Previous winners have also enjoyed tea at 10 Downing Street and a unique tour of Clarence House.
Team YouTe@ch featured pupils Salise Buldu (14), Sezen Gungor (15), Yaw Opoku (14) Ionut Tiplea (14) and Briana Williams (15). They said: ““Mosaic has taught us teamwork, dedication and determination. Hard work and practice really does pay off. We’re looking forward to the Grand Finals and potentially developing our idea in to a feasible business which will support schools and our community.”
19-year-old Ollie Forsyth (CEO and Founder of the Budding Entrepreneur) and Solomon Ian-Sangala (CEO and Founder of AttireX) were the event’s keynote speakers. Solomon commended: “The day was really exciting and I learnt a lot from the young teams myself. They demonstrated real tenacity and perseverance with a clear drive to succeed. I was proud to see the kids push through any difficulties they had, supporting one another’
Ollie Forsyth added: “It was amazing to see how many young entrepreneurs there were in the room with such high quality entrepreneurial skills. I believe it is really important for them to keep going with their ideas and to reach out to mentors who can help them bring their ideas to the next level. I look forward to working with the Mosaic in the future.”
Robyn Brown, London Regional Manager for Mosaic, said: “Team YouTe@ch wowed the judges with their brilliant idea but I have to say that the standard of all the teams was extremely high. I am very proud that London is home to so many brilliant young minds and I’m certain many will go on to be our business leaders of the future. A special thank you must go to our team of volunteer mentors who give up their time to coach, support and inspire the pupils taking part.”
Run annually, Mosaic’s Enterprise Challenge is a national competition that aims to inspire knowledge, raise aspirations, confidence, self-efficacy and long-term employability among secondary school pupils from some of the most deprived communities across the UK. Supported by specialist, volunteer mentors from across the business community, students compete for six-weeks in an online business game where they must develop, market and sell a new product.