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Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge 2012

Students from the Southfields Community College, Wandsworth win Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge 2012

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A team of enterprising Year 10 students from the South London school scooped £3000 for their school for their innovative business idea.

The students pitched their winning idea in a Dragons’ Den’ style to a panel of business experts, HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH Princess Badiya bint El Hassan at Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Competition final in Central London on Thursday 15th March.

Their idea, a new payment system that can be built into wristbands and other accessories would provide secure, cashless micropayments and can be managed by parents, enabling them to track their children’s spending both in school and at participating local businesses. By tapping their wristband or accessory onto a reader and entering a secure pin, students will be able to pay for school dinners, stationary and school trips without the risk of carrying cash around. Parents will be alerted to spending and be able to top up balances via text. It could transform how students spend money in schools.

Commenting, one of the students Shaista Waqu Ahmed, age 15 said “This has been an amazing experience! We have really learnt about teamwork and how to work together really hard to achieve something. Getting to the final has been a lot of hard work, but every session with our mentor has been worth it. We’re now inspired to start our business and make it a reality.”

The Southfields  students were are among just five teams to reach the final of the 2012 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 final was hosted by ITV newsreader Mary Nightingale at Hogan Lovells law firm in London and involved each team delivering 3 minute pitches to a panel of judges*. 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 also treated to a surprise tea at the House of Lords, and a unique afternoon behind the scenes at the ITV news studio, during which they learnt how to create a news report. They will also receive mentoring support from Apax Private Equity Partners to help them get their business off the ground.

Now in its 4th 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. 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 qualifying 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 business mentors. You can view more about the Enterprise Challenge below:

The Southfields team  were mentored by Saba Shaukat who accompanied them to the Grand Final. Commenting she said: “The young people put in a tremendous amount of effort throughout this process, while also juggling their exams and other commitments. It has been very inspiring to see their confidence and self belief grow each week and I am delighted at their success today.”

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 Minister Andrew Stunell OBE MP,said: “I congratulate the Southfields Community College team on their victory in the Enterprise Challenge Grand Final. Their efforts impressed all those in attendance and I hope will give them the inspiration and confidence to continue with innovative business ideas in their own communities in the near future”

Jonathan Freeman, National Director of Mosaic said “Each year we are blown away by how creative and enterprising  young people can be and this year is no exception. This competition is all about equipping young people with the skills confidence and ambition to turn their ideas into reality while exposing them to realistic role models from the world of business. Entrepreneurship builds self-confidence in young people, while fostering a can-do attitude – some of the most valuable traits to cultivate in young people in this economic climate. We congratulate the winners on their success and look forward seeing the winners develop their business with their mentor.”

The judging panel

David Harris, Co-Chief Executive of Hogan Lovells

Stuart Hoggan, Department of Communities and Local Government

Andrew Fiddaman, Managing Director Youth Business International

Nabila Sadiq, Mosaic Board Member

Faiz Bhanji, Associate, Apax Partners

About the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge 2011-2012

Stage One: November 2011 – January 2012 – With support from their mentors, students practiced the online game and developed their responsible business strategies.

Stage Two: January / February 2012 Teams demonstrated what they have learned by playing the game competitively, working towards their highest net profit which was entered into a national league table.

Stage Three: March 2012

The top five teams (based on the combined online game and ethical business strategy) competed in the Grand Final in London on 15 March 2012. As part of the Final, teams pitched their business ideas to a judging panel and werel be scored on the quality of their pitch, before an overall Enterprise Challenge 2012 winner was announced.

Winners will receive: £2500 for their school; £500 seed money towards the business idea they pitched to the judges and a special secret prize to be announced on the day.

Read more about the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge

Further images of the winners can be seen on Flickr.

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