MDX pioneers Peter Jones Foundation’s Tycoon competition for the university sector

Middlesex has become the first UK university to take part in the Peter Jones Foundation’s Tycoon Enterprise Competition.

On 12th November, the beginning of Global Entrepreneurship Week, 62 students in teams of up to five presented pitches of their business ideas in the Boardroom. The other rounds of the competition involve submitting an online business plan and an eight week trading phase, for which successful business ideas are given £75 in seed funding by the Foundation. The winners will attend a Buckingham Palace reception next May hosted by Foundation sponsor HRH Prince Andrew the Duke of York and Peter Jones CBE.

Tycoon has run in schools across the country since 2012, with the aim of inspiring young people to become entrepreneurs. Middlesex had been approached through the University’s Corporate Engagement Consultant Helen Emberton, previously Head of Curriculum and Commissioning for the Peter Jones Foundation where she was responsible for the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy syllabus.

“We are delighted to be launching our first Tycoon Competition for Higher Education with Middlesex University” says Peter Jones. “I look forward to seeing the students’ business ideas come to fruition. I have no doubt that the initiative will provide a strong platform for them to develop a broad range of enterprise skills and put their entrepreneurship to the test”.

Yahya Tali, working on a pitch for a holistic accessories business called HeALiVA under team leader Viktoria Skljarova said, “To get first-hand experience on how it feels to pitch in front of investors has been an amazing experience. I was very nervous but enjoyed every minute of it.

“What excites me about business is that it’s one of the keys to financial freedom – I’m big believer that owning 1 percent is far greater than 100 percent management”.

Firat Bektasoglu is always fascinated to know how and why a business started. “I have a great passion for entrepreneurship”, he said. “I’ve always enjoyed new challenges and opportunities that allow me to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve faced a lot of adversity in life and the only way I’ve overcome it is by being persistent and resilient”.

Umukulusum Sillah Sillah made her pitch based around an idea she has long had of transforming African designs into European styles. Her interest in entrepreneurship is around its power to bring about social change. “For example, the name of my business is Maanyi, which in the Ganda language spoken in Uganda means strength, power and energy, which is want we want to bring to society”.

Zana Sadik Mahmoud said “anything is achievable if you practise and work hard. Presenting on Monday boosted my confidence”.

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