Enterprising Hackney pupils secure business victory

Students from Skinners Academy with Clint Wilson of ParentPay and Brooke Greville

Students from Skinners Academy with Clint Wilson of ParentPay and Brooke Greville - Credit: Archant

High flying pupils have beat off competition from more than 4,000 students from 100 schools nationally to win the grand finals of a prestigious businesses competition.

The students from Skinners Academy, in Woodberry Grove, were shortlisted for the final of Mosaic Enterprise Challenge, a scheme to hone the business skills of young people from deprived communities.

After a four month battle, they impressed judges, including Claude Littner, of BBC’s The Apprentice fame, pitching their winning concept, iRoundUp - a simple yet effective system whereby students can volunteer to donate spare change to a nominated charity from electronic currency stored on their ParentPay school identity cards.

These enable parents to pay for school meals and trips via online transactions.

The students are currently in talks with ParentPay to introduce the scheme in thousands of schools.

The team has also secured a £2,500 prize for the school and a £500 seed fund to start up their business.

More than 400 volunteer business mentors from organisations such as Marks & Spencer, HSBC and Jaguar Land Rover were allocated to the teams, guiding and developing their business concept, with Brooke Greville, CEO of Gate Ventures PLC, guiding the Skinners Academy team.

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Chairman of Judges, Claude Littner said: “The standard of professionalism and creativity shown by the finalists was truly exceptional and the judging panel really did struggle to separate them.

“Congratulations to Team iRoundUp on delivering a comprehensive and well thought out business concept with real potential. It will be interesting to see how, with the ongoing support of their mentor, they now bring the idea fully to life.”

Brooke Greville said: “All their hard work has paid off. This is a fantastic achievement for the students who really applied themselves and have approached this with real dedication and professionalism. It’s been a privilege to work with Mosaic and act as mentor to such an impressive group of students. This is a proud day for all of us and an unforgettable experience.”