Five schools from across the West Midlands are set to battle it out to be crowned the region’s most enterprising school as part of a flagship education initiative from Mosaic, the mentoring charity founded by HRH The Prince of Wales and part of The Prince’s Trust.
Teams of pupils from Grace Academy Solihull, Harborne Academy, Hodge Hill College, Kings Heath Boys, and Perry Beeches IV The free School have reached Mosaic’s West Midlands Enterprise Challenge Regional Final,which will be held on 31 March 2017 at the offices of KPMG in Birmingham. Daniella Genas-Ogunbanjo, entrepreneur and social enterprise advocate, will be the event’s keynote speaker.
Run annually thanks to the generous support of Apax Foundation and Qatar Charity UK, the Enterprise Challengeis a national competition that aims to inspire knowledge and raise aspirations, confidence, self-efficacy and long-term employability among secondary school pupils from some of the most deprived and disadvantaged communities across the UK.
The competition sees pupils compete for six-weeks in an online business game where they must develop, market and sell a new product. The initiative is unique as pupils benefit from being mentored by volunteer business professionals who pass on their knowledge and skills relating to various aspects of entrepreneurship.
The West Midlands final will see the school teams go head-to-head in a Dragons’ Den style event and pitch their business ideas to a prestigious panel of judges including: Varinder Dhaliwal, Managing Director of We-Q Collaborative Intelligence, Katherine Latham, Director, Corporate Finance and Analytics at Jaguar Land Rover, Katy Hanby, Student Attraction and Outreach Officer at KPMG and Nick Venning, former Marketing Director of Global Industries at PwC.
Katherine Latham: Director, Corporate Finance and Analytics at Jaguar Land Rover; Varinder Dhaliwal: Managing Director of We-Q Collaborative and Chairman of Mosaic London and South East;
Michael Kearns: Senior Manager, Technology Risk Consulting at KPMG; Balvinder Sidhu, ITV Good Morning Britain Presenter; and Nick Venning, former Marketing Director of Global Industries at PWC.
The winning team will progress to the Enterprise Challenge Grand Final in London on 17 May where they will compete against the winning schools from the North West, Yorkshire, Scotland, South East and London, to be crowned national champions.
Becky Mitchell, Mosaic’s West Midlands Regional Manager, said: “The standard of teams from across the region was higher than ever this year and proof that the young people, whatever their background, are a source of pride and excitement about the future.
But we must also acknowledge that the Enterprise Challenge and Mosaic’s other mentoring programmes are only possible thanks to our amazing volunteer mentors. By giving up a few hours, their generosity and commitment allows us to inspire young people and develop their confidence, employability and self-esteem.”
Since 2009, the Enterprise Challenge has helped unearth a wealth of talent and potential in students from across the UK. In January 2017, five teenagers from Skinners’ Academy in East London celebrated the culmination of an 18-month journey from classroom to boardroom as their winning project from the 2015 Enterprise Challenge, ‘iRoundUp’, became a fully-fledged commercial venture. In partnership with online payment service ParentPay, iRoundUp has since been rolled out to over 6,000 schools and 2 million parents.