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This academic year saw Wilmington Academy take part for the first time in the ‘Tycoons in Schools’ competition, the brainchild of British multi-millionaire Peter Jones. The competition is entered into by over a third of secondary schools nationally, and allows students to create, brand, and run their own small business, with the help of a loan from the Peter Jones Foundation.

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14 of our students took part in three teams: ‘Pineapple Prints’ who created unique artwork for gamers and geeks; ‘Golden Loot’ who provided tech accessories for students on the go; and ‘Bling It Up!’ who created bespoke, blinged accessories such as brushes, mirrors, and phone cases. All the teams had to pitch their idea to a judging panel, source stock, track their financial ledger, conduct market research, create branding material, and make those all-important sales.

The students all agreed that it was much harder work than they expected, but they all revelled in the challenge. One team ran at a loss, failing to make their loan amount back, but another team made a 259% return, and used this to cover the loan of their colleagues. The project ended up being about much more than making money, and all students spoke of how it increased their confidence and business skill set.

We look forward to seeing what our students will create next year.