The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Challenge National Finals 2019 was held on 2 May at Hogan Lovells offices in London. The Enterprise Challenge is an annual, national competition during which secondary school students aged 11-16 around the UK learn about establishing and running a business through a business simulation game. The five best performing teams in each region compete to receive a place in the National Final, pitching an Ethical Business Strategy that they’ve developed to a panel of judges. Throughout the process, students are mentored by experienced business professionals.
The National Finals brought together the 6 regional finalist teams (each of 5 students) to present their social enterprise ideas one final time to a panel of judges from industry, government and entertainment. Dixons Unity Academy in Leeds took first place and Eden Girls’ School in Slough came second. After coming first the London Regional Finals in March, the local London team from Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets placed third on the day.
Nizam Uddin, Senior Head of Mosaic and Community Integration, gave the closing remarks. He commented that all too often a negative image of the nation’s youth is portrayed by the media but events like this display the promise and talent that the next generation possesses and helps to change this perception. Projects like Mosaic show what can be achieved when different parts of society come together… public, private, corporate, social, and non-profit.
Of the many impressive aspects of the students’ work, the very creative and considered way these teams embedded environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their business plans was particularly remarkable. One team proposed to supply fresh produce to their sustainable community food project by using rain water and compost from cafeteria scraps to support the plants in their greenhouse. The finalists from Slough wanted to address the needs of the large refugee population in their community and focused on acclimatising refugees to life in Britain (language, culture, lifestyle) to help them integrate into society and successfully enter the job force. Another team proposed that their enterprise would set up a charitable foundation, as part of the larger corporate structure, which would receive 25% of profits to promote technology and Artificial Intelligence education. Effectively, students in their early teens were attempting to tackle issues that experienced professionals struggle to address every day.
DDCAP Limited is a Patron of the Prince’s Trust and is proud to support projects like the Enterprise Challenge as part of its Sustainable and Responsible Actions (SRA) programme.