Lancashire student wins the Most Inspiring Individual Award in national business competition

A student from St Mary’s High School, who set up a business as part of Young Enterprise’s Tenner Challenge, supported by Business Growth Fund, has won the Most Inspiring Individual award in the 11-14 age group for her company Sketch-ie.

Tenner Challenge

Alison Lott set up Sketch-ie to created bespoke caricatures on commission.  Sketching in her own personal style, her drwings were customizable to match what customers wanted.  Alison approached her classmates and people in her local town of Bamber Bridge.

Alison said: “Over the course of the month people commissioned me to do artwork for them, for example portraits.  I have always been really into art and love drawing.  It was difficult at first to find people who wanted to commission me  but I approached teachers and they helped me with advertising.  At first it was quite tough but I have found it to be really rewarding..”

This year 21,000 students aged 11 to 19 across the UK registered for the free Challenge, which gives young people a taste of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. Participants are pledged £10 and given one month to make a profit and engage with their community. They have the chance to think of a new business idea and make it happen, using real money to take calculated risks in the business field.

At the end of the month pupils return their £10 pledges with a £1 legacy donation to enable Young Enterprise to support even more people the following year.  Participants are free to keep their profits, which most donate to a charity of their choice. Tenner allows students to become active citizens through giving back to their community, and provides practical opportunities to explore financial mathematics and problem solving in real contexts.

Stephen Welton, chief executive of BGF, said: “This is our second year supporting the Tenner Challenge and I’m hugely impressed with the quality of the businesses and the ideas the students think up.

“‘Sketch-ie’has done very well against some strong competition and  impressed us all.”

Michael Mercieca, chief executive of Young Enterprise, said: “Tenner helps schools to provide a range of learning opportunities which develop key character attributes in their students such as resilience, communication and teamwork, which are important in both education and in future employment.

“‘Sketch-ie’ really impressed us in the judging and I look forward to seeing what she achieve in the future.” In 2015 the top 50 teams made a total profit of £32,500, and 76 per cent of teams donated all or part of their profits to charities, with the highest single donation being £5,212. 83 per cent of students felt Tenner provided them with a unique opportunity to learn and achieve new things, while 90 per cent of teachers agreed that the Challenge increased their students’financial knowledge and understanding.