London pupils face public vote for their business ideas

Online voting opens for Big Idea Challenge

Date: 4 April 2016

Pupils from 10 different schools and colleges across London are hoping to win big in one of the UK’s largest young enterprise competitions.

The Big Idea Challenge aims to get young people interested in entrepreneurship, and the winners will have the chance to develop their ideas with expert mentoring in partnership with Microsoft, Natwest and Unilever.

The shortlisted teams have come up with 19 different business ideas ranging from childcare schemes on university campuses to biodegradable greetings cards. Now, online voting has opened to enable the public to decide who wins.

Members of the public can view the 2016 entries on the Big Idea Challenge website where they can vote for their favourite team.

The Big Idea Challenge is run by the Accelerator, London Metropolitan University’s business incubator, and the Outreach, Events and Widening Participation team. Prizes for the schools and colleges students include the chance to win mentorship, an internship and cash prizes.

Toby Kress, Head of Accelerator, said: "The range of ideas is incredibly broad. We have everything from a Skill Swap app where people can trade their skills to learn new things; to upcycled fashion; to a gym tailored for people with disabilities.”

Miranda Gay, a teacher at Hackney Community College, said: “The Big Idea Challenge is a wonderful opportunity for students from a broad range of subjects to engage with business ideas. Our students had a great time at the kick off workshop and are excited about taking their ideas to the next stage of the competition.”

The colleges involved in the final boot camp are; Hackney Community College; Waltham Forest College; Tower Hamlets College; Newham College; NewVic Sixth Form College; The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London; BSix Brooke House Sixth Form College; Redbridge College; Leyton Sixth Form College and Norlington School for Boys Sixth Form.

The winner of the Big Idea for schools and colleges will be announced on 28 April at the Big Idea Challenge awards night.