Bright ideas help young entrepreneurs to shine

Young entrepreneurs at a business challenge contest held at Sheffield Town Hall with guest Speaker - Mr England, Vaughan Bailey. Mr England with, from left, Amaka Uchegbu, Romaine Wilson-Steven and James Oben
Young entrepreneurs at a business challenge contest held at Sheffield Town Hall with guest Speaker - Mr England, Vaughan Bailey. Mr England with, from left, Amaka Uchegbu, Romaine Wilson-Steven and James Oben
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WOULD-BE business brains pitched their brightest ideas to a Dragon’s Den-style panel in a contest held at Sheffield Town Hall.

Young hopefuls aged between 11 and 25 took part in Sheffield Entrepreneurs On Challenge, which also featured star guest speakers.

River Tamoor Baig told how he had set up his own business Aspyre, while Vaughan Bailey inspired delegates with his story of being homeless at the age of 16 to winning the Mr England competition and starting a successful modelling career and media networking business.

Winner of the £500 first prize was Ross Horsley, who had a plan to sell alternative football-themed gear.

Organiser Adam Bradford, a young entrepreneur himself, said: “The pitches were amazing and Sheffield truly rose to the challenge. Ross’ idea stood out to the judges and he thoroughly deserves this opportunity to make his idea a success.”

Adam was on the panel along with entrepreneur Jill White, life coach Jayne Briggs, and Janet Grant from The University of Sheffield.

As well as the cash prize, Ross will get help from a mentor, expert business support and a chance at snapping up £5,000 worth of further investment.

Pupils from Silverdale School also wowed the judges and claimed an impromptu runners-up prize for their condiment Ding Sauce, pitched by Chris Parker and Harry James.

They had already raised over £200 for Neurocare through sales, inspired by their friend Jo Orpwood who has battled three brain tumours.

They took home a £50 prize and a promise of additional mentoring in taking the product to the supermarkets.