Students win Prince Charles prize

Published: Friday 27th April 12

Student entrepreneurs from Southfields Community College have won a £3,000 business investment after a successful ‘Dragons’ Den’ style pitch to the Prince of Wales.

Prince Charles meeting award winnersThe year 10 students pitched their idea for an innovative wristband payment system to a panel of business experts, HRH The Prince of Wales, Communities Minister Andrew Stunell and HRH Princess Badiya bint El Hassan of Jordan at the Mosaic Apax Enterprise Challenge, hosted by newsreader Mary Nightingale.

The group, known as Team Core, have won funding to develop their idea; a secure, cashless micropayments system built into wristbands and other accessories and managed by parents, enabling them to track their children's spending in school and at participating local businesses.

By tapping their wristband onto a reader and entering a secure pin, students will be able to pay for school dinners, stationary and school trips without the risk of carrying cash around. Parents will be alerted to spending and be able to top up balances via text.

Student Shaista Waqu Ahmed, 15, said "This has been an amazing experience! We have really learnt about teamwork and how to work together really hard to achieve something. Getting to the final has been a lot of hard work, but every session with our mentor has been worth it. We're now inspired to start our business and make it a reality."

As well as the top prize of £2500 cash for their school, plus £500 seed funding to turn their idea into reality, the winners were also treated to tea at the House of Lords and an afternoon behind the scenes at the ITV news studio, where they learnt how to create a news report. They will also receive mentoring support from Apax Private Equity Partners to help them get their business off the ground.

Now in its fourth year, the Enterprise Challenge is run by Mosaic, a campaign founded by The Prince of Wales. Mosaic aims to raise the aspirations of young people through exposure to positive role models and mentoring. 

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