A team of budding entrepreneurs from Coleg y Cymoedd who developed Monkey Nuts, a mobile van selling healthy food, have been awarded £1000 in national enterprise competition, the Edge Challenge.
Future Foods, made up of Liam Williams (17) from Llantrisant, Robert Haycox (17) from Ferndale, Lauren Quinn (19) from Tonypandy and Flynn Randell (17) from Pontypridd, submitted a detailed and viable business proposal including financial and marketing plans, alongside hopefuls from all over the country.
Three teams and six individual entries were shortlisted and they were all invited to pitch their ideas to a panel in London.
Following this, the final two teams and three individuals presented their business ideas at The Skills Show in Birmingham – and Future Food's innovative idea and excellent business sense won them their prize.
Card Stack, a team, from Barking & Dagenham College were the team winners, with their digital business cards idea.
The individual prizes were scooped by David Humpston (19), Jack Crofts (17) and Gavin Bell (20).
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, awarded Future Foods with their prize, which will go towards developing their business plan.
The Edge Challenge was launched last year by independent education charity, the Edge Foundation in partnership with the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and the Gazelle Colleges Group. It aims to help young entrepreneurs get their business start-up off the ground.
Runners up Future Foods say: "We're so excited to have won a prize in the Edge Challenge! We can't wait to use the £1000 to get us up and running as a real-life business. We are so happy we made the most of this opportunity and would definitely encourage others to get involved next year."
Jan Hodges OBE, CEO of independent education charity, the Edge Foundation, says: "I whole-heartedly congratulate Future Foods on their achievement today in our second Edge Challenge competition. At Edge, we believe there are many paths to success for young people to take and becoming an entrepreneur is certainly an excellent and exciting route to choose. I wish the team all the very best of luck in the future."
Peter Jones CBE, Founder of the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy says: "Here at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, we have thoroughly enjoyed being involved in the rollout of the Edge Challenge, delivered by the Edge Foundation for the second year running, in partnership with the Gazelle Colleges Group. I am delighted that former Peter Jones Enterprise Academy students have been awarded first, second and third place in the individual enterprise competition.
"Future Foods are deserving winners. I hope that future Academy students will be inspired by their success and gain the confidence and drive to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
"It is great to see there is a special enterprise zone at this year's Skills Show. They have rightfully put entrepreneurship at the top of the agenda as a real and tangible focus, which is something I wholeheartedly back."
Fintan Donohue, CEO Gazelle Colleges Group, says: "We are delighted to work for the second year running with our partner the Edge Foundation and our colleagues from the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy to make the Edge Challenge a success.
"Many of the young people in the competition may never actually take forward their own businesses but the experimentation with this start-up competition develops a mind-set that will strengthen their employment prospects.
"At Gazelle, enterprise competition is becoming an integral part of student experience. The winners of today's competition, are the role models that will help create a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship in the colleges they come from."
Judith Evans, Principal of Coleg y Cymoedd, says: "As Principal of Coleg y Cymoedd I am delighted that our young catering entrepreneurs are runners up in this prestigious competition. We are keen to give encouragement to all learners and ensure that they are equipped with the skills that they need to succeed in business. The learners are highly motivated and have taken this challenge seriously. I congratulate them for their success in the finals."
Watch Future Foods in the Edge Challenge here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHre2qLSPNk&list=UUjYIAjg4pqaOKnHCW6KlMWA