Budding entrepreneurs offered business boost with the Edge Challenge 2015

We are delighted to confirm the launch of the Edge Challenge 2015, a nationwide competition that gives the UK’s brightest young entrepreneurs the chance to kick-start their companies.

Run by the Edge Foundation, in partnership with the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and Gazelle Colleges, it’s an opportunity for young people to develop an innovative business idea and to compete for up to £4,000 funding. 

The competition is open to past and present students – aged 16-25 – of any FE or sixth-form college in the UK, but entrants must have completed, or be currently enrolled on, a course of technical, practical or vocational education. 

Peter Jones CBE said: “I am delighted that the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy will be working in partnership with the Edge Foundation and the Gazelle Colleges Group to deliver the Edge Challenge once again. Every ambitious young person should have the opportunity to gain the skills and confidence needed to realise their business dreams.

“This competition will allow young entrepreneurs from my Academy and beyond to pitch their innovative ideas for a chance to win a fantastic financial reward and access to invaluable business mentoring. I’m proud to be backing this competition and encourage budding entrepreneurs to apply.”

Prizes of £3,000 and £4,000 are awarded to the winners of the individual and team challenges, respectively, while those who secure second and third place in the former will receive £1,250 and £750. There is also expert support from a business mentor up for grabs. 

To enter the competition, applicants must set out an exciting and sustainable business plan, complete with financial and marketing strategies, which will then be reviewed by a judging panel.

Those who submit the best proposals will be invited to present at The Skills Show, which will take place at the NEC in Birmingham from November 19th-21st.

Last year’s winner, David Humpston, a former Peter Jones Enterprise Academy student at Amersham & Wycombe College, impressed with his video production company, Viewpoint Videos.

He said: “As a teenage new business owner, the biggest challenge for me is being taken seriously. Winning the Edge Challenge has given me some initial credibility, the opportunity to pitch to successful business people, and the chance to invest the prize money to grow my business. 

“As a result, Viewpoint is growing, and I have now signed several partnerships, including Capital Karts, the longest indoor kart track in the UK.”

Since graduating from the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and winning the Edge Challenge, David has gone on to become the youngest person ever to receive a Virgin StartUp loan.

Edge Foundation CEO Jan Hodges OBE said: “The Edge Challenge is a brilliant opportunity for young people to get their business ideas off the ground and potentially make them into real successes. 

“There are too many obstacles in the way for young entrepreneurs who cite a lack of funding, credibility and support as reasons for being unable to progress.”

Image: Peter Jones Enterprise Academy student Jack Crofts receives his award for second place in the individual competition from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg