Darwen Students Head For “Dragon’s Den” Final

Date: February 13th 2017

A team of budding entrepreneurs from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy have made it to the finals of the nationwide enterprise competition, Tycoon in Schools, developed by BBC TV “Dragon’s Den” star Peter Jones.

The three year 8 students are one of just eight teams who will attend Buckingham Palace for the awards ceremony on Monday 6th March. They officially launched their business idea, Community Kids, to market in October, producing calendars to celebrate the beauty of Blackburn and Darwen and at the same time raise money for a memorial garden for their friend who sadly died last year.

This year, the stakes were higher than ever before, as the competition officially expanded into primary schools for the very first time. Over 100 teams of children as young as five went head-to-head, starting their own businesses and trading between October and December.

Community Kids were one of the eight teams that stood out amongst over 150 teams taking part in the competition from across the UK. The budding young tycoons received £752 through a start-up loan from the Peter Jones Foundation and sponsorship from local businesses, and had a final profit ratio of a fantastic 57%.  The three students that took part, Aamna Aslam, 13, Lana Townsend, 13 and Braedan Halliwell, 13 were absolutely thrilled to find out they were through to the final, “this is a once in a lifetime experience” said Aamna when she heard the news.

Michelle Billington, Assistant Principal at DACA said “we are absolutely delighted that the hard work and entrepreneurial talent these students have demonstrated has won them a place in the final”.

In total, over two thousand high-calibre students received funding to start their businesses. This year, businesses spanned from upcycling to film-nights, e-sports tournaments and printing children’s books. The competition has grown by a staggering 300 per cent since it was launched in 2012, and sits at the heart of Peter’s mission to put enterprise at the heart of the education system. Schools involved spanned the length and breadth of the country, including over 150 teams of children.

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