Students from Slough and Eton School romped to victory in the fourth, annual Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge with an idea for a mobile phone app that keeps parents informed about their child’s school-related business. Guest of Honour at the event in Central London was inspirational young music video entrepreneur Jamal Edwards, founder and CEO of sb.tv and The Times Young Rich List member.
Yesterday the Students pitched their innovative business idea to an exciting panel of experts, which included: My Flash Trash Founder and Made in Chelsea star Amber Atherton and Business woman and star of The Apprentice Liz Locke, to win the fourth Apax-Mosaic Enterprise. Congratulations Slough and Eton!
The Slough and Eton students were among just five teams out of 3000 participants to reach the final of the competition, designed to give 11-16 year olds first-hand experience of the world of business and encourage enterprise skills with guidance from experienced business mentors. The students’ idea saw off valiant competition from: Beechwood School, also in Slough, Southfields Academy in London, Handsworth Wood Girls’ Academy from Birmingham and Carr Manor Community School in Leeds, to take the top prize.
The team of enterprising Year 10 students pitched their award winning idea in a fresh and lively style to a esteemed judging panel that included: Co-CEO of Hogan Lovells LLP David Harris, Mosaic Board Member Nabila Sadiq, Director of The Prince’s Youth Business International Andrew Fiddaman, CEO of Abu Dhabi Capital Partners Omar Imtiaz, Amber Atherton and Liz Locke.
The Team, known as Silver Tie, have won funding for their idea; which in their words: “Puts your child’s education in your hands”. The app was envisaged to keep parents fully appraised of school events, up-to-date with school newsletters, term times and provide parents with a forum to post comments. The business model for the app reflected the multi-cultural nature of the local area and the students proposed translations in the five most spoke local languages.
Commenting, Slough and Eton student Asha Hassan,15, said “Jamal Edwards was awesome. How he managed to succeed is really inspirational.” Mehrun Nessa, 14 said of her experience: “Today has been awesome, I feel like a princess!”
Team Silver Tie were mentored by, amongst other business mentors, Bushra Akram, who accompanied them to the Grand Final. Commenting Bushra said: “The Silver Tie team did fantastically well; they have really understood and applied all the business principles they learnt on the course. We have been inspired by their creativity and passion which came across from their business ideas and the final presentation. They have managed to successfully complete the Enterprise Challenge, whilst also dealing with exams and coursework. It has been very rewarding to see how their confidence has grown throughout the course.”
The final, which was hosted by international law firm Hogan Lovells in London, involved each team delivering a three minute pitch of their business idea to the panel of judges. Commenting, David Harris said: “Hogan Lovells is delighted to work with Mosaic on its quest to raise the aspirations of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. This competition is all about equipping young people with the skills confidence and ambition to turn their ideas into reality while exposing them to role models from the world of business.”
As well as the top prize of £2500 cash for their school, plus £500 seed funding to turn their idea into reality, the winners were treated to a unique tour of Clarence House and a tour of HM Treasury, where they met Chief Secretary of the Treasury Danny Alexander, who commented: “What mosaic does is so wonderful. It opens young peoples eyes to opportunity. Team Silver tie were each also presented with Google Chrome book computers.
The day ended with an elegant dinner at The Cinnamon Club, hosted by TV Chief and friend to Mosaic Vivek Singh. Guests at the dinner included: BBC’s The Apprentice stars Elizabeth Locke and Gabrielle Omar and My Flash Trash’s founder Amber Atherton. To add to an already magical experience, the winners were chauffeured throughout the afternoon in two Bentley Mulsannes cars, generously supplied by Bentley.
The winning students will also receive mentoring support from Apax Private Equity Partners to help them get their business off the ground, as well as business skills training from star of The Apprentice Melody Hossaini and the opportunity to pitch their ideas to finalists of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
The competition is co-sponsored by the Apax Foundation and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) as part of its commitment to enable people able to realise their potential to get on in life, irrespective of their background, including widening access to jobs and training and encouraging educational aspiration and enterprise. Commenting, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “Huge congratulations to the winners of this year’s Enterprise Challenge grand final. I was extremely impressed with Slough and Eton’s innovative business idea and the massive amount of effort and hard work that they put into this. “I hope the winners, and all who entered the competition, enjoyed taking part and will take away and build on what they’ve learnt going forward.”
Peter Englander CEO, Apax Foundation commented: “Apax is proud to support Mosaic and its inspirational mentoring programmes, creating opportunities for young people growing up in some of our most deprived communities. The Enterprise Challenge is a fantastic initiative, which embraces the diversity and creativity of our young entrepreneurs giving them the opportunity to develop valuable business skills and ultimately the chance to start up their own enterprise.”
Jonathan Freeman, National Director of Mosaic said; “This year we’ve been fortunate to welcome young Entrepreneurs like Jamal Edwards and Amber Atherton to the Grand Finale event; these young businesspeople embody the spirit of Enterprise Challenge. As Jamal said, self-belief is all! We congratulate the winners on their success and look forward seeing them develop their business with their mentor and the ongoing support of Apax Private Equity Partners .”
Speaking movingly after the winning team was announced, Mosaic’s South East Regional Chairman Shahid Azeem said: “Every year blows me away! The confidence of these young people is astonishing. For me personally, to be a part of the winning team’s triumph is amazing. I want to thank everyone involved in the South East Regional Leadership Group and the whole, wider Slough support team.”
David Harris (Co-CEO, Hogan Lovells LLP) – Chair
Nabila Sadiq (Mosaic Board)
Andrew Fiddaman (Director, The Prince’s Youth Business International)
Omar Imtiaz (CEO, Abu Dhabi Capital Partners)
Amber Atherton (Founder, My Trash Flash and Made in Chelsea star)
Liz Locke (Business woman and star of The Apprentice)
Asad Ahmad (Presenter BBC London News (Compere)
Jamal Edwards (CEO, SB.TV, The Times Young Power and Rich List member)
Grant Shapps (Minister without Portfolio)
Farida Gibbs (CEO, Gibbs S3)
Irina Hemmers (Partner and Trustee, Apax Foundation)
Khawar Mann (Chairman, Mosaic)
Hear from the winning team and Mosaic’s National Director Jonathan Freeman (audio clip courtesy of BBC Asian Network):
See and hear what people have to say about the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge 2013 in our Youtube video:
Read more about the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge.