A group of six pupils from Priestnall School are celebrating after securing the first prize in Manchester Airport’s annual Dragons’ Den competition for aspiring entrepreneurs.
The group’s selection of Manchester worker bee tote bags, Christmas cards and badges impressed a panel of Dragons including representatives from the Airport, Singapore Airlines, Enterprise Rent a Car, John Lewis and Macdonald Hotels.
They raised £7,037 for their chosen charity, the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, and will be rewarded with a VIP night out including limousine transfers from their school to Salford Quays, a meal out and tickets to SIX the Musical at the Lowry.
Other winners included Fred Longworth High School (Tyldesley), whose eco-friendly reusable metal straw, sold through a website set up by the pupils themselves, delivered success in the Most Innovative category.
The King’s School, Macclesfield, scooped the award for Best Presentation. Each team member from both schools will receive £20 in shopping vouchers as their prize.
The victors were revealed in a gala event at Hilton Manchester Airport yesterday. Each group was given the chance beforehand to present a summary of productivity, finance and lessons learnt as a result of the experience.
Priestnall School Headteacher, Craig Burns, said: “We are thrilled for our pupils who have worked incredibly hard to develop and deliver their vision.
“They have learned important lessons, built their skill sets and gained invaluable experience along the way.
“We hope they enjoy their prize and are thankful to Manchester Airport for organising this competition and giving them this opportunity.”
Ten schools from across Greater Manchester and East Cheshire took part in the challenge, generating a hugely impressive £14,135 for good causes between them.
Teams were tasked with developing a product or business idea, pitching and gaining a £100 grant from Manchester Airport to get it off the ground. They then had seven weeks to turn a profit, with the help of a mentor.
Helen McNabb, Community Relations Lead at Manchester Airport, said: “We are now in the eleventh year of this competition and the range and quality of ideas produced never ceases to amaze us. It was wonderful to see such creativity on display and our judges had some tough choices to make.
“Our annual Dragons’ Den activity is part of our wider educational outreach programme, where in the last year we have engaged with more than 13,000 pupils.
“We hope that all pupils who took part this year gained knowledge and skills that will stand them in good stead for their future careers.”
The full list of schools that took part and their products were:
- Wellington School (Altrincham) – Christmas Eve ‘hampers’ for children including a hot chocolate spoon, make-your-own bauble and ‘reindeer food’.
- Manchester Enterprise Academy (Wythenshawe) – Christmas decoration: wooden initials, painted and decorated in Santa costume
- Stretford Grammar School – laser-cut wooden tea-light holders
- Stockport Grammar School – chocolates in a variety of flavours
- Alder Community High School (Hyde) – Yankee candle in a glass container with Manchester worker bee symbol
- The King’s School, Macclesfield – Christmas stockings with a selection of stocking fillers including handmade chocolates, air-pod cases, chargers and phone covers
- Priestnall School (Stockport) – Manchester worker bee tote bags, Christmas cards and badges
- Alderley Edge School for Girls – personalised laser-cut keyrings
- Wilmslow High School – scented soaps and handmade fudge
- Fred Longworth High School (Tyldesley) – metal drinking straws in a protective fabric bag