Wandsworth Students Win Nationwide Dragon's Den-style Competition

Budding entrepreneurs from Southfields Academy beat 2000 other entrants

A team of enterprising students from Southfields Academy have beaten 2,000 young people from over 50 schools, to win a national enterprise competition.

The students are among just five teams to have reached 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.

They joined the other finalists at international law firm Hogan Lovells in London to battle for a top prize of £2500 cash for their school, plus £500 seed funding to turn their idea into reality - by presenting their idea for a social enterprise business to a panel of judges*. The winners will also receive mentoring support from Apax Private Equity Partners to help them get their business off the ground.

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. Mosaic aims to raise the aspirations of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, through exposure to positive role models and mentoring. The Grand Finals are the culmination of months of hard work by the students as they 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 their business mentors.

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.

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.”

*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

March 23, 2012