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Peter Jones CBE crowns the winners of Tycoon in Schools 2016

We are delighted to announce the winners of Tycoon in Schools 2016: Lease 2 Learn from Westborough High School in Dewsbury!

Our final eight teams of tycoons attended a ceremony at Buckingham Palace yesterday, where Lease 2 Learn were crowned overall winners by Peter and HRH The Duke of York and presented with £1,000 to fund the continued growth of their business.

The ceremony was hosted by HRH The Duke of York, KG, Patron of the Peter Jones Foundation, as part of his focus on championing entrepreneurship and ongoing support of the Tycoon in Schools competition. 

After months of business planning and preparation, and an intensive trading period throughout November and December, Lease 2 Learn was selected by a panel of judges based on the criteria of profitability, teamwork, business concept, sustainability and community engagement. Their business allows students, teachers and the wider community to lease and hire school IT equipment, including refurbished laptops, at a very competitive and affordable price – and delivered a final profit ratio of a fantastic 1,839%.

The team fought off tough competition – with over 2,000 children across the country going head-to-head to claim the winning title.  

The six year 11 students - Usman Iqbal, Tia Ramsden, Yaseen Patel, Zain Yasin, Aboo Bakr Abid and Emma Longstaff - received £280 as a start-up loan from the Peter Jones Foundation to officially launch their idea to market in October. We were impressed by the originality and insightfulness of their business, which allows students, teachers and the wider community to lease and hire school IT equipment, including refurbished laptops, at a very competitive and affordable price.  

Blue Bowtique, a team of eight primary school children from Barnby Road Academy in Newark, were the very deserving winners of the Highly Commended prize, after making and selling hair bows to the local community and achieving a 1,544% profit ratio. 

Run by Nancy Millar, Grace Phillips, Evie Marrow, Louisa Lamont, Piper McLaughlin, Evie Gore, Zuzia Babczynska, and Ruby Tilford, the Blue Bowtique team received £96 as a start-up loan from the Peter Jones Foundation in October 2016, investing the money to create bespoke hair bows that give ‘flair to the hair’.

Peter Jones CBE said: “It is always such a great honour to crown the winners of Tycoon in Schools at Buckingham Palace alongside HRH The Duke of York, KG, Patron of the Peter Jones Foundation.

“This year, we officially opened up the competition to primary schools, and it was incredibly exciting to meet some of our youngest Tycoons to date.

“Lease 2 Learn really stood out amidst the competition. The team blew me away with their professionalism – and most importantly, their business idea to support other students’ from their school.

“Every year we see an incredibly high standard of business ideas come to fruition – and this year has been no exception. I have been bowled over by the achievements of all the students throughout the competition, and it has certainly been the most successful Tycoon in Schools yet.”

Lukman Patel, ‎Director of Learning Business & Ethics at Westborough High School, said: “We’re honoured to be the winners of Tycoon in Schools 2016 – and incredibly proud of how hard our students worked to get here. It’s really important to educate children about running a business, and Peter Jones’ Tycoon In Schools has provided a fantastic and inspirational experience for the Lease 2 Learn team.”

Steven Chamberlain, Head Teacher at Barnby Road Academy, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that our students came Highly Commended overall in the Tycoon in Schools competition. We were very excited that the competition was extended to those at primary school this year – it’s provided the children with a unique opportunity to learn about business.”

Lease 2 Learn and Blue Bowtique also won their Key Stage categories. The other Key Stage winners and runners up were:

Key Stage 1 & 2 

RUNNER UP: Birdie Brunch – Ludham Primary School

Key Stage 3

WINNER: Little Acorn – Queen Anne’s School

RUNNER UP: Community Kids – Darwen Aldridge Community Academy

Key Stage 4

RUNNER UP: Indulge – Hampton College

Key Stage 5

WINNER: Footprint – The Queen’s School, Chester

RUNNER UP: The Lytham Christmas Company – AKS Lytham

Congratulations to Lease 2 Learn, Blue Bowtique, and all of our finalists, who impressed us with their teamwork, creative thinking, incredible sales skills, and their engagement with their local communities – well done to you all!

If you’re inspired by this year’s winners, you can register for Tycoon in Schools 2017 now - just click here and follow the instructions.