Three pupils from a Kirklees high school are headed to the finals of national business competition after battling it out with teams in the region.
Alfie Broadfield, 14, Asad Isfahani, 14 and William Yeung, 13, from Spen Valley High School in Liversedge, were named regional winners of the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge at last week’s Yorkshire final.
The team was one of five local schools to present their ideas for a social enterprise to judges at Headingley Carnegie Stadium in Leeds last week.
Pupils from Freeston Academy in Normanton, Park Lane Learning Trust in collaboration with Crossley Heath Grammar in Halifax, Fir Vale School Academy Trust in Sheffield and Moorend Academy in Huddersfield went head-to-head at the event.
The winners, competing as Team Money Makers, were praised for their ‘School Bay’ concept: a website where users can buy and sell unwanted items of schools uniform and books.
The business also encourages the local community to donate items which can be sold online rather than being thrown away and ending up in landfill.
Judges were impressed with the organisational thinking behind the idea and the environmental and community benefits.
The trio will now attend the Grand Final hosted in London on April 23.
The Mosaic Enterprise Challenge is open to secondary school children throughout Britain. Teams aged 11 to 16 compete for a top prize of £2,500 for their school, plus an additional £500 to set up their social enterprise.
More than 800 pupils from 20 schools around Yorkshire took part before the final five were shortlisted.
Over 80 mentors were allocated to the teams, guiding and developing their business concept.
Team Money Makers member Alfie said the regional final was “pretty nerve-wracking” but that the team are excited for the grand final.
He said: “We’ve worked pretty hard with our mentor and think we’ve come up with a great idea so I think we’ve got a good chance.”
Ajaz Ahmed, who chaired the judges’ panel for the second year running, said it is great to see kids with the confidence to take part in the competition.
He said: “This really does bring the best out in them. The quality and confidence displayed by the regional finalists is outstanding and in many cases better than some of the experienced entrepreneurs I see on a daily basis.”
Forward Ladies managing director Griselda Togobo, who was keynote speaker at the regional final, said it was an “inspiring” afternoon.
She said: “We need to develop our youngsters’ business initiative from an early age; allowing the pupils to spend time with a business mentor who has real experience is clearly motivating for them.”
Last year’s national winners were from St Bede’s Catholic Grammar School in Bradford.
The team impressed judges with their Trash4Cash proposals, which collect recyclable items from the community to sell to local businesses.
The Mosaic Enterprise Challenge is sponsored by the Apax Foundation and Nectar Trust, with backing from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
This year’s Yorkshire regional final was supported by GibbsS3 and The Yorkshire Post as media partner.
The Mosaic Enterprise Challenge programme helps young people between the ages of 11 and 16 improve their business acumen, confidence and self-belief.
Pupils work closely with a mentor to develop a business concept, which is pitched to a regional judging panel.
Regional champions are then invited to compete in the grand final. National winners receive £2,500 for their school, and £500 to launch their initiative with the help of their mentor.
Mosaic is an initiative of Business in the Community and was founded by HRH Prince Charles in 2007.