A team of savvy entrepreneurs from The Queen’s School in Chester were named Key Stage 5 winners in Tycoon in Schools, a nationwide enterprise competition run by Dragons’ Den star, Peter Jones CBE.
The eight students from Chester formed one of just eight teams who attended Buckingham Palace for the final awards ceremony, beating off around 2,000 other children nationwide to win their Key Stage.
Footprint, run by Mabel Yip, 17, Nitya Ramanand, 16, Felicity Hudson, 17, Jobi Chan, 17, Sinchana Lakshmish, 16, Olivia Spillane, 16, Saima Khanum, 16 and Jessica Twigg, 16, received £100 as a start-up loan from the Peter Jones Foundation in October 2016, investing the money to educate young children on issues facing society today, through the production of colourful storybooks.
After months of business planning and preparation, and an intensive trading period throughout November and December, Footprint was selected by a panel of judges based on the criteria of profitability, teamwork, business concept, sustainability and community engagement. The team had a final profit ratio of 861%.
Tycoon in Schools encourages budding entrepreneurs to get involved in business by giving them a start-up loan to start a business while at school or college. This year, the stakes were higher than ever before, as the competition officially expanded into primary schools for the first time.
The ceremony was hosted by The Duke of York, patron of the Peter Jones Foundation, as part of his focus on championing entrepreneurship and ongoing support of the Tycoon in Schools competition.
A team from Westborough High School in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, were crowned overall winners and presented with £1,000 to fund the continued growth of their business.
Peter Jones said: “It is always such a great honour to crown the winners of Tycoon in Schools at Buckingham Palace alongside The Duke of York.
“This year, we officially opened up the competition to primary schools, and it was incredibly exciting to meet some of our youngest tycoons to date.
“Every year we see an incredibly high standard of business ideas come to fruition – and this year has been no exception. I have been bowled over by the achievements of all the students throughout the competition, and it has certainly been the most successful Tycoon in Schools yet.”
Head of economics and business at The Queen’s School, Brendan Durkan, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that our students are Key Stage 5 winners of Tycoon in Schools. The team worked incredibly hard throughout the competition, and we’ve been so impressed by their determination to succeed. The competition has been an invaluable experience for all involved.”
Tycoon in Schools has grown by a staggering 300% since it was launched in 2012, and sits at the heart of Peter’s mission to put enterprise at the heart of the education system.
The impact in encouraging the nation’s young people into entrepreneurship is clear to see. According to a survey of students that took part in the initiative last year, 70% feel that taking part in Tycoon in Schools has made them want to start their own business in the future.
Those who wish to sign up for next year’s Tycoon in Schools can do so at www.tycooninschools.com