Stonyhurst students win in Dragon’s Den

The winning Stonyhurst Social Enterprise company with the Dragons! (s)
The winning Stonyhurst Social Enterprise company with the Dragons! (s)

A Ribble Valley student Social Enterprise company has won a Lancashire Young Enterprise Dragon’s Den competition, which attracted entries from schools across the county.

Sixth formers from Stonyhurst College near Clitheroe pitched their ideas to four local business people, presenting their accounts, marketing ideas, and, of course, their products. They faced tough questioning from Dragons Mark Hope of Stonehouse Logic Ltd, Bharat Parmar (Asda Stores), Helen Shepherd from Pennine Fire and Safety Ltd and Andrea Smith from South Ribble Borough Council. Lara Schick, Gereon Gaudig, Emily Cafazzo and Marco Troina set up Ad Maiora, (inspired by the school’s motto) which upcycles old Stonyhurst uniforms, using fabric from girls’ kilts to make attractive cushions.

Stonyhurst’s Head of Enterprise and Business teacher Debbie Kirkby said: “As a social enterprise company, it is important they also have a social objective, and the pupils aim to use their profits to support the improvement of education in developing countries such as Kenya and Zimbabwe. Their mission statement is ‘Great Futures Start Here’. It’s been a great opportunity for them to learn new skills of enterprise, teamwork and creative thinking and the feedback was excellent, including “confident market analysis” and full marks for their financial analysis! They are indebted to New Call Telecom who have been sponsoring the company this year.”

The fabric used for the girls’ uniform at Stonyhurst is a recreation of the pattern of a plaid suit worn by Bonnie Prince Charlie. He wore it as he fled to the Scottish islands after defeat at the battle of Culloden in 1746. Part of the original suit is on display at the historic Ribble Valley school.

The winning Stonyhurst Social Enterprise company with the Dragons! (s)

It’s been a great opportunity for them to learn new skills of enterprise, teamwork and creative thinking and the feedback was excellent, including “confident market analysis” and full marks for their financial analysis!

Stonyhurst’s Head of Enterprise and Business teacher Debbie Kirkby