Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones awards funding to year 11 student venture

IT equipment rental service Lease 2 Learn crowned winner of Tycoon in Schools 2016 competition, having achieved profit ratio of 1,839%

Serial entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones has named IT equipment hire service Lease 2 Learn winners of Tycoon in Schools 2016 – the national enterprise competition for schoolchildren.

The team of six year 11 students from Westborough High School in Dewsbury were crowned during a ceremony held at Buckingham Palace hosted by HRH The Duke of York.

They beat over 2,000 other children across the country to receive a £1,000 prize that will fund the continued growth of their business.

Lease 2 Learn is a “competitive and affordable” way for students, teachers and the wider community to lease and hire school IT equipment such as refurbished laptops.

Responding to research that over a third of students at their school did not have access to a computer or laptop at home, the team aimed to democratise learning at school, giving everyone access to the technology they need to succeed.

They were given a £280 start-up loan from the Peter Jones Foundation to launch in October and went on to achieve a final profit ratio of 1,839% after trading through November and December.

This year marked the first that Tycoon in Schools had been open to primary schools, with Blue Bowtique from Barnby Road Academy in Newark runners up in the competition. The team of eight primary children achieved a 1,544% profit ratio by making and selling hair bows to the local community.

Jones commented: “Lease 2 Learn really stood out amidst the competition. The team blew me away with their professionalism – and most importantly, their business idea to support other students’ from their school.

“Every year we see an incredibly high standard of business ideas come to fruition – and this year has been no exception. I have been bowled over by the achievements of all the students throughout the competition, and it has certainly been the most successful Tycoon in Schools yet.”

Lukman Patel, ‎director of learning business & ethics at Westborough High school, said: “We’re honoured to be the winners of Tycoon in Schools 2016 – and incredibly proud of how hard our students worked to get here.

“It’s really important to educate children about running a business, and Jones’ Tycoon in Schools has provided a fantastic and inspirational experience for the Lease 2 Learn team.”

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