‘The Richard Bransons of tomorrow’: Five Greater Manchester schools battling for Mosaic enterprise title

Five schools in Greater Manchester have reached the North West regional final of Mosaic’s flagship programme ‘The Enterprise Challenge’.

Mosaic was founded in 2007 by HRH Prince Charles and is committed to inspiring young people from deprived areas to maximise their potential.

Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Parrs Wood High School in Didsbury, The Hathershaw School in Oldham, Levenshulme High School and Ladybridge High School in Bolton – regional winner for the past two years – will compete in the regional final on March 10.

Head of Communications at Mosaic, Nizam Uddin, told MM: “Our young people are the Richard Bransons and Karen Bradys of tomorrow, and competitions like the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge help ensure we maximise our chances of find them much earlier in life.

“Mosaic, beyond helping promote business and entrepreneurship, looks at increasing and improving a young person’s confidence, their self-efficacy and their chances of being employed.

“Through working in disadvantaged communities, where studies show there to be a paucity of networks into employment, we are also exposing more young people to the principles of business and helping build pathways for future employment.”

This is the seventh consecutive year the competition is taking place and the regional competitors are five of an initial 26 schools.

They are competing to progress to the Enterprise Challenge Grand Final in London on May 4, aiming to win prize money of £2,500 for their school, and £500 for their business idea, making it into a tangible reality.

Schools send a team of five students to compete in a head-to-head business competition in front of an array of prestigious judges, including Lord Lieutenant Warren Smith, Ahti Arshad – Director of Brooklyn Charles – Foods Manager at Morrisons Noor Ali and Paul Heywood, Partner at KPMG in Manchester.

Anne Earley, Mosaic’s North West Regional Manager, said: “The standard of teams from across the North West was higher than ever this year and proof that the young people in our region, whatever their background, are a source of pride and excitement about the future.

“I would like to thank our team of volunteer mentors who generously give up their time to coach, support and inspire the pupils taking part in the competition.”

Last year’s event featured mentors from Marks and Spencer, HSBC and Jaguar Land Rover, the competition as a whole boasts 1400 volunteer business mentors.

The North West final will be held at KPMG offices on 1 Saint Peter’s Square, Manchester.

Abdullah Afzal, of Citizen Khan fame, will be compering and Helen Tse MBE, author of Sweet Mandarin and restaurateur will be giving an inspirational speech to the contestants.

The Grand Final will comprise of the winners from the South East, West Midlands, Yorkshire, Scotland and London.

Last year’s overall winner – Skinners Academy from Hackney – designed an app whereby students can volunteer to donate spare change to a nominated charity from electronic currency stored on their ParentPay school identity cards.

The app is now going into development with ParentPay themselves.

Last year’s regional winning idea from Ladybridge High School was to start a baking business within their school community designed to help internal catering students gain invaluable practical skills.

Mr Uddin told MM: “For the first time this year, we were delighted to have the competition reach Glasgow, and we plan for this growth to long continue. Mosaic also has other programmes in primary and secondary schools.”

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