Up-and-coming Lancashire entrepreneurs make final of nationwide enterprise competition

Date: February 12th 2015

Five Key Stage 3 students from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy have reached the final in nationwide enterprise competition ‘Tycoon in Schools’.

A team of aspiring young business stars from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy  have made it through to the final of the nationwide enterprise competition Tycoon in Schools.

The five students have formed Moments, a photo booth business that uses Polaroid cameras to produce instant images for keyrings and magnets.

In recognition of their success, they have been invited to a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace in March, alongside eight other student-companies hoping to be crowned the overall winners.

Fidelis Nunez, aged 13 said“We all love taking selfies and so came up with a prop-box photo booth idea for capturing fun moments that could be enjoyed forever in a photograph, keyring or magnet.

“We had to adapt our initial idea several times during the trading period, at the start we used a gazebo but found this took too long to set up for short periods.  We also discovered that people were happy just to buy the photographs, this reduced our costs.”

The Key Stage 3 group raised a significant profit during a seven-week trading period at the end of last year, before submitting a final evaluation report to be judged by an expert panel chaired by successful entrepreneur and star of Dragons’ Den Peter Jones CBE.

“We had a good range of props which appealed to lots of people of all ages. We also did well with event bookings, with people paying to hire the props and cameras to run their own photo booth,” Joshua Southworth, aged 13 continued.

“This project was all about developing our entrepreneurial skills and gaining knowledge of how to run a business. Our aim was to be profitable enough to pay back the loan and have a business that could continue after the competition ended.”

Launched by Peter Jones and run by his charity, the Peter Jones Foundation, Tycoon in Schools – now in its third year – sees schoolchildren from across the UK developing their own real-life businesses.

After pitching an idea to their teachers, they receive a start-up loan of up to £1,000 from the charity to get their companies up and running.

Other confirmed finalists have specialised in products including trinkets made from recycled materials, handcrafted cruiser skateboards and miniature Christmas jumpers for wine bottles.

As well as vying for the coveted top spot –for which the winners will receive £1,000 investment prize money – Moments are in competition with two other teams for first place in the Key Stage 3 category.

Michelle Billington, Assistant Principal said “we are thrilled that the Moments team have been so successful in this competition.  All of these students have actively participated in entrepreneurial activities since they joined the Academy in Year 7.  Taking part in this competition enabled them to purchase the equipment needed in order to create a sustainable business idea.  It wasn’t easy for them but they remained determined to succeed throughout the whole process. The students have demonstrated a real flair for business and we are proud of their success.”

Tycoon in Schools is part of the Peter Jones Foundation’s work to put enterprise education at the heart of young people’s learning in the UK.

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