Students from Slough win National Enterprise Competition

Students from Slough and Eton School have won a national enterprise competition, run by HRH The Prince of Wales’ Mosaic mentoring charitable initiative, 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 2013 Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge, an annual 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 an 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 to 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 spoken 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, involved each team delivering a three minute pitch of their business idea to the panel of judges. Commenting, David Harris, Co-CEO at Hogan Lovells 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 also each 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 Mulsanne 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.

Now in its fourth year, the Enterprise Challenge is run by Mosaic, a campaign founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, which forms part of Business in the Community (BITC). Mosaic aims to raise the aspirations of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, through exposure to positive role models and mentoring. Prior to the final, the students progressed through the early stages of the challenge by competing to generate the highest possible score in a unique online business simulation game, and producing an ethical business strategy with guidance from their business mentors.

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