Eight shortlisted college teams from across the UK had five minutes to pitch their business idea to a panel of judges made up of Chris Hearn, Head of Education, Social Housing & Local Authority (ESHLA), Personal and Corporate Banking at Barclays, Sylvia Perrins, CEO of The National Skills Academy for Financial Services and Jo Westhead, Community Investment Programme Manager at Barclays. Students attending the final also benefited from a careers workshop to enhance their CV writing and interview skills.
The winning team, Sun-Cap from Mid Cheshire College, celebrated success after impressing judges with their business idea involving a customisable hat, containing a solar panel, which can charge mobile phones and other electronic devices outdoors. The team took home a trophy and an iPad mini each.
The competition was the final element of the 2014 Barclays Money Skills ‘weeks’ programme, which assists students attending further education colleges in developing their enterprise, employability and financial skills skills.
In 2014, over 130 colleges across the UK ran a Barclays Money Skills ‘week’, with an estimated 150,000 students taking part and the support of over 530 Barclays volunteers provided via the programme.
Team members of Sun-Cap said: “We are so excited about this award. A lot of thought went into this business project, it has been rewarding to work as part of a team and it feels great to be recognised for our business idea.”
“We learned so much by entering the competition and enjoyed the experience very much. We found turning an idea into a business very hard work but also very rewarding. It was great meeting and sharing experiences with other students from colleges all over the country at the finals in Canary Wharf and we would recommend entering the competition to everyone.”
Richard Hollywood, Principal from Mid Cheshire College said: “We’re thrilled that a team from our college has won the competition. Competitions like these provide students with entrepreneurial learning opportunities and this is completely in line with our college’s aim to make our students more employable and to provide them with the skills they need to secure their future.”
Chris Hearn, Head of ESHLA, Personal and Corporate Banking at Barclays Head of Education at Barclays said: “Our partnership with the National Skills Academy for Financial Services is an important part of Barclays’ broader commitment to impact five million young futures by 2015. Having judged finalists last year, I was delighted to have the opportunity to be involved again this year. I very much enjoyed hearing the teams’ ideas and was extremely impressed with their performances. To see the programme culminate in this way is very inspirational.”
Sylvia Perrins, CEO of the National Skills Academy for Financial Services said: “It’s encouraging to have received so many high quality competition entries and it is clear that students have benefited from the enterprise focused resources provided to colleges through this year’s Barclays Money Skills ‘weeks’ programme. I am proud of Sun-Cap’s success.”
The Barclays Money Skills ‘weeks’ programme, which was launched in 2010, is delivered in partnership by Barclays and the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, together with CollegesWales, NOW in Northern Ireland and the Colleges Development Network in Scotland.