Government minister backs youth business competition during Global Entrepreneurship Week

The Business in the Community initiative, set up by HRH The Prince of Wales, will launch the fifth year of the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge, at Westminster City School on Thursday 15th November, which aims to inspire young people through business. The competition will involve over 3,000 students in 80 schools, supported by more than 300 business mentors.

The launch of the challenge, during Global Entrepreneurship Week, will see the previous year’s winners of the competition alongside Nick Boles MP and Mosaic supporters. The Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge is a national competition which aims to inspire knowledge and enthusiasm about business amongst young people.

Communities Minister Nick Boles said: “The Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge is an excellent way of enabling pupils to learn practical business skills such as sales, marketing and finance; from within the classroom and the opportunities the competition provides will be of huge future benefit. I am looking forward to meeting the youngsters who took part last year to find out what skills and knowledge they gained from the competition.”

Pupils from Southfields Academy won the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge last year when they invented a wristband which can make payments and be monitored by parents.

The Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge sees teams of school children compete in an online business contest where they develop, market and sell a new product. The school pupils, aged 11-16, are supported by Mosaic business mentors to learn key components of business such as finance, sales, marketing and production.

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government gave his support to the launch, saying: “For five fantastic years the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge has inspired business knowledge and enthusiasm among young people by allowing pupils to gain real business skills from their classrooms.

“The competition provides pupils with valuable skills and the opportunity to aspire towards a career in business. I am delighted that my Department is supporting this for another year and look forward to seeing some more exciting and innovative ideas.”

The launch of the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise Challenge takes part during Global Entrepreneurship Week which this year has set the theme of Pass It On and is being spearheaded by Youth Business International (YBI), part of the Prince’s Charities.

The initiative is supported by Gatehouse Bank, a wholesale Shariah compliant investment bank based in the City of London. As part of the competition launch, Richard Thomas OBE, CEO of Gatehouse Bank, will be leading a delegation of influential business figures and senior leaders, who will come together in a roundtable discussion held at the bank to debate the issues facing young people in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK.

Thomas said: “The theme of Global Entrepreneurship Week is ‘Pass It On’ and the roundtable discussion will focus on how the business community can play an essential role in tackling some of Britain’s most pressing social issues. As a shariah compliant bank, our entire business model runs on the principles of ethical banking, and supporting social responsibility programmes is a core part of our corporate objective. This is a fantastic initiative, and I’m keen to encourage other leaders to join the programme. In particular, the roundtable discussion will give us the opportunity to pass on our business knowledge to each other and discuss how young people most need our support and encouragement.”

Mosaic was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2007 to create opportunities for young people of all backgrounds growing up in the most deprived communities. It has developed a series of mentoring programmes which have made a demonstrable impact on improving the attainment and aspirations of thousands of young people.