Retrocycle Crowned Winners of Tycoon in Schools

Friday 13th March 2015

A team of talented young entrepreneurs from Queen Anne’s School have won the national enterprise competition, Tycoon in Schools.

Retrocycle, consisting of seven U4 pupils, were confirmed joint winners at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace on Tuesday 10 March, attended by nine groups of finalists and the competition founder, Peter Jones CBE. Retrocycle impressed the judges with their range of stylish everyday goods made from recycled materials, winning the Top Tycoon in the Key Stage 3 category.

Following the group’s fantastic win, Managing Director of Retrocycle, Romilly Hayward, said:

To be a finalist and have the amazing opportunity to visit Buckingham Palace is just the icing on the cake after an incredible journey.

We would never have thought at the beginning of this process that we could have achieved something so amazing. The most enjoyable part of taking part in the Tycoon in Schools contest was the moment we realised we had created a successful and profitable business during our first sales day. 

It was incredibly rewarding to see our products flying off the shelves and our profits soaring, particularly as we had environmentally friendly products and all profits were going to charity.”

Since Tycoon in Schools launched in 2012, only one team has won the overall prize each year. However, in a surprise announcement by the Dragon’s Den star at the ceremony, it emerged that three companies would be sharing this year’s top spot – each collecting £1,000 investment.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Mr Jones said:

“I was delighted to announce the winners of Tycoon in Schools at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace this afternoon with His Royal Highness, The Duke of York, KG, Patron of The Peter Jones Foundation.

The standard was so high this year that we decided to crown not one, but three winners. All of the teams have worked so hard and I have been bowled over by their enthusiasm and achievements throughout the competition. With thousands of students taking part, it has been the most successful Tycoon in Schools yet.

Retrocycle, Ethical Print and Mount were the teams that really stood out to all the judges. They all excelled in each area of the judging criteria, came up with some incredibly innovative ideas, worked excellently as a team and generated some incredible profits.

I wish the teams the very best of luck and encourage them all to continue to develop their businesses – you never know how far your ideas can go. I urge all young, budding entrepreneurs to get involved in Tycoon in Schools 2015.”

Tycoon in Schools challenges schoolchildren from all over the UK to develop their own real-life businesses. After pitching an idea to their teachers, they receive a loan of up to £1,000 from the Peter Jones Foundation to get their companies up and running. They then raise as much profit as possible during a seven-week trading period, before submitting a final evaluation report to a panel chaired by Mr Jones himself. The judges consider profitability, teamwork, business concept, sustainability and community engagement.

Peter Jones Foundation CEO Alice Barnard said:

“Retrocycle’s work really stood out as original and attractive. The team have developed some very appealing and sustainable products with lots of potential. They are worthy winners.”

Retrocycle crowned winners of Tycoon in Schools

About Tycoon in Schools

Tycoon in Schools is a nationwide campaign that encourages and inspires young people across England to start a business whilst at school, to build an enterprising skill set and live their entrepreneurial dreams.

Founded by entrepreneur Peter Jones CBE in 2012 and run by the Peter Jones Foundation, Tycoon in Schools is an enterprise competition in which secondary school children are given a loan of up to £1,000 and challenged to launch a business, make a profit and give something back to their community.

The current competition’s trading period ran between 3rd November and 19th December 2014. The Peter Jones Foundation offered loans to secondary schools across the country to distribute to their students. Prior to the trading period in November, students pitched their business ideas to their teachers for a chance to submit their completed Tycoon in Schools business plans to the Peter Jones Foundation for consideration to receive the start-up loan.

In December, students repaid their original loan and remaining profits were reinvested into their business, given to their school or donated to local charitable causes. For more information visit

About the Peter Jones Foundation

The Peter Jones Foundation aims to unleash the potential of aspiring entrepreneurs, to excite a new generation of entrepreneurs and to celebrate entrepreneurship through inspiring activities, helping to create a culture of enterprise in Britain.

Integral to the Foundation’s work is the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, which runs various courses in enterprise and entrepreneurship to educate and encourage young people (aged 16 and above) across the country to have the confidence and skills to approach life with a ‘can-do’ attitude.

The Peter Jones Foundation also inspires an exciting new generation of entrepreneurs through initiatives such as Tycoon in Schools – a nationwide enterprise competition where children are encouraged to make money, make a difference and give back to their community.

The Foundation is supported by a range of corporate partners and patrons in its mission to educate, encourage and support a brand new generation of entrepreneurs. For more information visit