Five young Bradford pupils came face to face with five TV “dragons” as part of their prize for winning the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge.
The year-eight boys from St Bede’s Catholic Grammar School met Deborah Meaden, Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones, Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney, and learned from the Dragons’ Den investors what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur.
The team, who called themselves Trash4Cash, beat teams from across the UK over a three-month process involving virtual trading, pitching ideas and an online business simulation game. Their “rubbish” business idea saw them collect old, unwanted clothes and sell them at favourable rates to a local recycling business. The profits were used to improve the school’s drama facilities. The Enterprise Challenge, sponsored by the Apax Foundation and the Department for Communities and Local Government, is an initiative intended to inspire young people living in the most deprived communities and help raise their aspirations. The Yorkshire Post is the media partner. The boys were mentored by Tahira Rehman, a solicitor with Ison Harrison in Leeds, and Noel Stephenson, director of The Whole Caboodle marketing agency in Harrogate.
Mosaic’s Yorkshire regional manager Nabila Ayub, who supported the team through the process, said: “They were the youngest team in the final and didn’t think they’d win, but ended up getting the highest score.”