Young entrepreneurs from Grace Academy have won their place in the National Grand Finals of the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge after beating stiff competition from 177 other schools in the Midlands.

The students made it to Regional Finals after making an outstanding £6 million profit in the first round online business simulation game, and then presented their social enterprise idea to launch Coventry’s first New Age Curling Club to a panel of business experts.

The team convinced the judges that they had the necessary business acumen to set up the new Curling Club that would offer in-door curling with portable tracks and light-weight substitute coloured stones, carried on ball-bearings towards the target.

After pitching their winning idea of a community club that will be accessible to able-bodied and disabled players, and offer curling training delivered by Academy professionals, the team will now go on to represent the whole of the Midlands region in the National Grand Finals in May.

Explaining what it takes to make a £6 million profit, Year 9 student Ibi from the winning team said:

“We had to keep trying in the business simulation game and take risks again and again. We had to try all different options to find out what worked.  We had a few products to try, setting the quantity and price, taking account of employability, as well as taking notes and adjusting everything accordingly.

“You have to try out all the options and make notes as you go along, addressing questions like ‘Who will you hire?’, ‘What will their pay level be?’ and ‘What experience do they have?’ I would recommend that other students take part because this will increase their confidence massively; taking risks is a big part of life.”

Pritpal Surj, Volunteer and Secondment Executive at The Prince’s Trust, said:

“Firstly I must say ‘Congratulations to the team at Grace Academy Coventry’. The competition this year was very tough. As I visited most schools, I could see the passion to win with all that participated. I worked with the mentors and pupils at Grace Academy Coventry and I am proud of what they have achieved. A big thanks must be given to Seta Bassi and Vicki Quinn who managed the day brilliantly in the school. Just to add – I have never met such competitive teachers as them before, however it paid off.Good luck to the team at Nationals, I know they will do the West Midlands proud.”

The winning team’s business mentor, Frederick Tudor, Control Engineer from Jaguar Land Rover, said:

“To make a profit of over £6 million in the business simulation game is a star result.  To win the Regional Finals and get through to the National Finals is a fantastic opportunity for the team and requires great presentation skills and the courage to stand up and present the information, as well as a good business idea.  At the end of the day, however good your presentation is, your business idea has to work.”

Seta Bassi, Head of Faculty Communication at Grace Academy Coventry, added:

“I am absolutely thrilled that our students have made it to the National Finals of the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge and have the privilege and opportunity to represent the whole of the Midlands region in the competition. The students were judged on the quality of their pitch, presentation skills, language, how creative their idea was, and how feasible the underpinning business concepts will be to bring the idea to life.  They have worked really hard and their hard work has paid off.”