Meet the Tycoon 2018 Finalists


Peter Jones CBE is delighted to announce the eight teams of budding entrepreneurs that have reached the Buckingham Palace final of his nationwide enterprise competition, Tycoon.

The competition stakes have been higher than ever as, for the first time, students were able to compete across two trading windows, one in Autumn and the other in Spring. These eight teams stood out amongst the 389 businesses taking part in the competition by demonstrating incredibly strong enterprise capabilities and solid financial results.


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  • Little Prickles from Robert Arkenstall Primary School in Cambridgeshire made hedgehog ornaments out of old books to raise money for hedgehog charities.
  • Willowbrook’s Brilliant Books from Willowbrook Primary Academy in Leicestershire sold activity folders containing word games and offered a reading buddy service to younger students to promote literacy.

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  • Control ID from New Mills School & Sixth Form in Derbyshire made personalised skins for computer game controllers and reached out to local business and invited them to use the skins as a promotional tool.
  • TAIBO from Buxton Community School in Derbyshire. The Ambitious Innovative Beauty Organisation (TAIBO) made handmade, stylish hair scrunchies from second-hand clothes.

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  • Bottle Boutique from AKS Lytham Independent School in Lancashire upcycled old wine and spirit bottles, adding glitter and lights in various innovative designs, with all money raised going to a local hospice.
  • Serenity from The Marist School in Berkshire promoted calm through their business, which made lavender scented blankets – 60% of profits were given to the charity, Mind.

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  • That Purpose from Queen Anne’s School in Berkshire created a re-usable lunch-bag that could be personalised and could fold down to fit inside a wallet.
  • AMAR from Oasis Academy South Bank in London launched a business that sought to minimise the usage of single-use plastics by selling reusable water bottles and bamboo straws.


In total, well over 2,000 students took part in Tycoon and received funding from the Peter Jones Foundation to start and run their first businesses. This year, we saw a real focus on businesses with a strong social and environment purpose – from natural cosmetics, to wristbands supporting the values of kindness – we were consistently impressed by the ingenuity and ambition of all the teams taking part.

Peter Jones CBE said: “I‘ve been blown away by the ambitious and inventive businesses that have been started as part of this year’s Tycoon competition. It will be a great honour to announce the winners at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in May, alongside HRH The Duke of York, KG, Patron of the Peter Jones Foundation. I look forward to meeting all of the students and teams and hearing even more about their business ventures.”

The competition sits at the heart of the Peter Jones Foundation’s mission to put enterprise at the centre of the education system and we are delighted that students from schools and colleges spanning the length and breadth of the UK, from Meigle near Dundee, to Ashburton near Torquay and Clydach near Swansea, all took part in Tycoon this year.

We are proud of the progress that the Tycoon Enterprise Competition has made to date – we have worked with over 700 schools and given more than £500,000 in funding, to enable over 12,000 students to start their first business. We see enterprise education as a cornerstone in ensuring that students leave school job-ready and, as such, Tycoon has had a tangible impact on the lives of young people. Our survey results speak to this, 76% of students said that the competition had encouraged them to set up their own business in the future and 91% of secondary students thought that the competition had made them more employable.

Stay tuned for news about the Buckingham Palace final, where the winners will be announced and presented trophies by HRH The Duke of York KG and Peter Jones CBE.