Star pupils become youngest ever winners of nation-wide enterprise competition

Five Year 7 pupils from Eden Girls’ School, Waltham Forest have become the youngest ever winners of the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge, beating off stiff competition from 103 secondary schools and 4898 students across the country. Mentored by industry experts from some of the UK’s top companies and businesses – including Marks and Spencers, HSBC, Jaguar Land Rover, Ernst and Young and PWC – the all-female team, aged between 11-12, put together a Dragons’ Den-style pitch, where they developed a convincing business case for creating a secure online portal for students to exchange books, class notes, electronics and other in-demand items with each other.

Enterprise Challenge National Final 2016 (55)

The girls, working together as “Team S-MART,” proved to live up to their name by preparing an innovative and compelling presentation that wowed an elite panel of judges at the national finals, held at global law firm Hogan Lovells on 4th May. They had previously triumphed at the London regional finals, where they demonstrated an impressive grasp of business principles and ethics, capitalising on lessons learned from their mentors to devise an original business plan. Their success attracted the attention of local MP, Stella Creasy, who expressed her support for the girls before the grand final: “It is amazing to see young people from Walthamstow achieving such heights and showing their entrepreneurial talents. I’m extremely proud of them and wish them the best of luck in the finals – go, Eden, go!”

The Mosaic Network was launched in 2007 by HRH the Prince of Wales to encourage young people to develop their entrepreneurial spirit and sense of aspiration, particularly in areas of deprivation. The Enterprise Challenge, a national initiative which is open to students aged 11-16, gives young people the opportunity to interact with role models from the business community, who offer them a valuable insight into what it takes to set up and run a business. Mosaic was awarded the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award in 2013 and the Enterprise Competition has garnered significant recognition in the business world, with over 530 mentors volunteering their services, and sponsors including the Apax Foundation and Qatar Charity.

Team S-MART, comprising of Sumayyah Bhana, Maria-Lilya Abbas, Misba Mullan, Yusra Faisal and Mahriya Zahid, enjoyed a taste of the VIP lifestyle after their victory and, with goody bags in tow, were rewarded with a celebratory tea at Harrods and a helicopter ride across London. They also received £2500 for their school and a £500 start-up fund to help put their ideas in motion. The girls returned to school on Thursday to be met by their jubilant peers, and their Headteacher, Shahina Ahmad, is planning a party in their honour. She is understandably thrilled by their achievements:

“We are delighted and proud of our girls’ huge success at Eden and share in their excitement! This win is a testimony to the fact that the power of positive thinking and self-belief can accomplish great things. On behalf of Eden Girls’ School, I would like to thank the Mosaic team for their ongoing support and quality of mentoring. Thank you for nurturing our young women to become great leaders and entrepreneurs.”

Eden Girls’ School, Waltham Forest is part of Star Academies (Star), one of the UK’s leading education providers. Hamid Patel CBE, Chief Executive of Star Academies, extended his congratulations to the girls and emphasised the importance of developing pupils’ leadership skills from a young age: “Our vision is to nurture today’s young people and inspire tomorrow’s leaders and organisations like Mosaic help to facilitate that by offering incredible mentoring opportunities to young people across the country. All of our schools have a Leadership Specialism and we are committed to ensuring our pupils develop the leadership skills, knowledge and attributes sought by top universities and employers. It is wonderful to see that reflected in Eden Girls’ success in the Enterprise Challenge Competition. Congratulations to all the girls involved, and to the staff who supported them in realising their ambitions.”

Added By: Star Academies | Date Added: 5th May 2016 | Posted In:

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