A team of young entrepreneurs from St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School has won the West Midlands Regional Final of the 2016 Mosaic Enterprise Challenge competition, hosted generously by KPMG in Birmingham.
‘Team Fruit Cycle’ beat stiff competition from teams from King’s Heath Boys, Grace Academy Darlaston, Grace Academy Solihull and Grace Academy in Coventry with their idea for building relationships with local retailers by buying fruit close to its best before date for a cheap price and selling it at school to tackle obesity.
The money will be reinvested into after school activities like sports equipment to further tackle obesity, as well as cut down on landfill and be extremely ethical.
All competing teams pitched their ideas to a prestigious panel of judges including Mohammed Gamil, Chief Operations Officer of Al Rayan Bank; Uzair Bawany, Managing Partner of Fairway Search Partners; Lucy Fairclough, Associate Director at KPMG in Birmingham; Adrian Mardell, Deputy CFO and Group Operations Controller at Jaguar Land Rover; and Graeme Brown, Editor (Agenda & Business) at the Birmingham Mail, the event’s media partner.
Team Fruit Cycle will now progress to the Enterprise Challenge Grand Final in London on 4th May where they will compete against winning schools from the North West, South East, Yorkshire, London and Glasgow for the chance to become national champions.
The pupils said: “We can’t believe we won! We are so excited to have made it to the national final and really looking forward to meeting the other teams. Thanks to the support of our mentors and teachers who have helped us every step of the way. West Mids to win the national final!”
Jessica Brooks, Business Studies Teacher at St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School, said: “We are so thrilled for the students. This has helped them to understand that their hard efforts, passionate and determination pays off! They are so passionate about their idea and are all excited now to share this in the national final. We are really proud of what they have achieved so far and the valuable experience they have gained! Come on St Thomas Aquinas!”
ITV presenter Sameena Ali-Khan, who hosted the West Midlands Regional Final, said: “What a fantastic event! All of the teams presented their ideas in a highly professional way and the judges must have had a tough job choosing the winner. I wish Team Fruit Cycle the very best of luck for the Grand Final and I hope that they can bring the title back to the West Midlands.”
Guest speaker Joel Blake FRSA commented: “I am delighted to be involved with the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge, which enables students to develop high level business skills and apply them to a familiar context, making them real. All of the competitors captured this but the winning team really articulated the principles of business in their presentation. Moving forward, I’ll be rooting for St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School and I hope they remain confident on the national stage, and that all teams showcase their uniqueness and communicate their ideas clearly.”
The Enterprise Challenge is generously sponsored nationally by Apax Foundation and Qatar Charity UK and supported by Totem Learning. Nael Faragy is the principal regional supporter. Prizes on the day were donated by UKIM, Birmingham City University, Social Entrepreneur Association, Mazars, BT, National Trust, Solicitors Regulation Authority, Crash Bang Wallop, Independent Shop and Turleys.