DACA Students Impress Dragons Den Star Peter Jones at Buckingham Palace

Date: March 10th 2017

On the 6th March a team of three budding entrepreneurs from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy attended the finals of the nationwide competition, Tycoon in Schools, developed by BBC TV “Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones.

Over 100 teams of children as young as five went head-to-head to start their own business between October and December 2016. Community Kids, the team of year 8 students from DACA, were one of only 8 teams invited to the final at Buckingham Palace where they were named runners up. In their business the team produced calendars to celebrate the beauty of Blackburn and Darwen and at the same time raise money for a memorial garden for their friend who sadly died last year.

These budding young tycoons, Aamna Aslam, 13, Lana Townsend, 13 and Braedan Halliwell, 13, received £752 through a start-up loan from the Peter Jones Foundation and sponsorship from local businesses, and had a final profit ratio of an impressive 57%.

Peter Jones launched the Tycoon in Schools initiative and finances groups of young people across the country so that they can set up their own ventures with the aim of turning a profit from their idea. The Darwen Aldridge Community Academy team pitched their project to Prince Andrew and Peter Jones and managed to raise a superb £425 in profit.

Michelle Billington, Assistant Principal at DACA, said she was delighted with how well the team had done. She said “It’s been great to watch the students’ ideas develop into a successful business, and it’s wonderful to be named runners-up in the Tycoon in Schools competition. The process has been a really important learning experience for these students.”

Peter Jones said: “Every year we see an incredibly high standard of business ideas come to fruition. I have been bowled over by the achievements of all the students, and it has certainly been the most successful Tycoon in Schools yet.”

In total, over two thousand high-calibre students received funding to start their businesses. This year, businesses spanned from upcycling to film-nights, e-sports tournaments and printing children’s books. The competition has grown by a staggering 300 per cent since it was launched in 2012, with over 150 teams of children taking part this year from across the country.

(Photo – DACA students Lana Townsend, Braeden Halliwell and Aamna Aslam with Peter Jones CBE and Prince Andrew)

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