Team ‘RustiQ’ Crowned Winners At ‘Tycoon In Schools’ Final

Thursday 17th March 2016

A group of talented entrepreneurs from Queen Anne’s have won the award for best Key Stage 3 Business in Peter Jones CBE’s ‘Tycoon in Schools’ 2015 competition.

The pupils, who launched RustiQ, were presented the award by the Dragons’ Den star and HRH, The Duke of York, at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace on Monday 14 March. The girls raised a profit of £778.97 selling chalkboard notice boards and friendship bracelets.

Commenting on their achievement, Team member Georgie Ralston, said:

“We feel very proud of our achievement as we know that we were able to help another community by raising money to improve their way of living. The charity we decided to donate the money to is called the Kamuli Friends, which is helping provide accommodation and health support for people and nurses in Uganda.

“We are also really grateful to the Tycoon in Schools initiative for providing us with a fantastic opportunity to give back to those less fortunate than ourselves. Not only did it feel great to win our category but being able to visit Buckingham Palace was a tremendous privilege.”

The team made the notice boards out of roof slates by attaching a wooden ledge for the chalk, hooks to hang keys from and a rope handle to the top. They intended to sell two types of boards – one standard, the other personalised – but soon decided that it was not feasible to spend time customising their products.

Using their connections to various local primary schools, the girls sold the notice boards at as many Christmas fairs as possible. They also sold at parents’ evenings, school music concerts and at Henley late-night shopping.

Team member Zoe Campbell, aged 14, added:

“We have learnt a lot whilst participating in this year’s Tycoon in Schools challenge. In particular, the group have gained valuable experience about interacting with different types of customers during the selling process by attending various fairs and events. Additionally, knowing that the money we were raising was going to a good cause made the experience even more worthwhile.”

Tycoon in Schools is an annual competition that challenges youngsters to run their own real-life businesses using a loan of up to £1,000 provided by the Peter Jones Foundation. Participants then raise as much profit as possible during a set trading period. Once trading is over, teams submit detailed evaluation reports to Mr Jones, who picks the winners from each key stage category, as well as one overall champion and runner up.

Talking about the ‘Tycoon in Schools’ initiative, Mr Peter Jones said:

“Tycoon in Schools gives pupils the opportunity to experience the highs and lows of running a real business. As well as promoting skills essential to employers, such as confidence and resilience, it shows that self-employment is a viable and rewarding option. This sort of initiative is vital to the future of our economy. 

Having reached approximately 320,000 students this year, the competition was very tough and I’m extremely proud of all our finalists.

We were very impressed with those taking part in our trial primary school competition and have therefore decided to roll it out across the country for Tycoon in Schools 2016.”

As well as Tycoon in Schools, the Peter Jones Foundation runs the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, which delivers courses in enterprise and entrepreneurship at colleges across the country.

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