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Wishford's young entrepreneurs get their very own dragon!
Young entrepreneurs from the Wishford group of prep schools are competing to win a £1000-prize from GripIt creator Jordan Daykin, the youngest-ever successful candidate on Dragon’s Den. In 2014 Jordan secured funding of £80,000 from Dragon Deborah Meaden, but this time, he is the Dragon!
Teams from each of the group’s six schools can apply for a start-up loan of up to £50 to develop an entrepreneurial idea and take it to market, with everything that that involves. The children are already busily working on initiatives ranging from picture framing and car-washing, to Indian delicacies and frozen yoghurts. The most successful team will win £1,000 to be split between a local charity and reinvested in the business or school resources.
Inspiration for the Young Enterprise Award came after Stuart Morgan-Nash, Headmaster of St Edward’s Prep for Boys in Reading, invited his former pupil Jordan Daykin to talk to the boys about entrepreneurship. Its aim is to give students invaluable experience in setting up and running a business, and show them how the subjects they learn in the classroom all have a role to play in the world of business; the literacy involved in writing a business proposal and marketing material; numeracy that ensures that all the figures add up; and design, science and technology, which will all be vital in developing a product. Stuart says, 'Our boys were so inspired by Jordan’s talk, it seemed important not to let this opportunity go. By pulling in all the schools in the Wishford group, they are all benefiting from the experience and Jordan’s expertise. The response has been enormous, and there is some very healthy competition already!'
'When I talked to the boys at St Edward’s Prep last year, I was amazed by some of the questions they were asking,' Jordan remembered. 'They had obviously paid a lot of attention in their enterprise lessons and to my talk. When Stuart asked me to be involved in the Wishford Enterprise Awards, I couldn’t help but say yes. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the children have come up with and how they have got on selling their product or service. It’s great how the Wishford Enterprise initiative does this type of project, teaching tomorrow’s leaders what business is like in the real world.
Children will be judged on a broad range of targets, from the originality and creativity of the concept, to the robustness of their market research and how well considered their business plan is. Along the way, the children will experience real-world business challenges, such as problem solving, teamwork, communication, product development, budgeting and marketing. Business plans will be submitted by the end of the Spring Term and the winners will be announced in June at the Wishford Weekend, which brings Year 6 pupils from across the group together for two days of fun, teamwork and challenges.
Sam Antrobus, Head of Wishford Schools, is looking forward to seeing what the teams come up with. 'The Wishford Enterprise Award chimes perfectly with what we seek to do. Extending opportunities for our children, challenging and supporting them to achieve and experience things that are out of the ordinary for children of their age, and helping them to understand the world around them. We are very lucky that Jordan agreed to take part in what should be a hotly contested competition!'