Young Bournemouth entrepreneurs win ‘Tycoon in Schools’ competition

‘Funnelling 4 Fuel’ recognised by Duke of York and Peter Jones at Buckingham Palace ceremony

The winner of the nationwide ‘Tycoon in Schools’ enterprise competition was announced today at an awards ceremony hosted by the Duke of York at Buckingham Palace.

Bournemouth venture Funnelling 4 Fuel, an enterprise that repurposes recycled cooking oil as fuel to run college minibuses, was recognised as the outstanding entrant in the competition, generating a significant profit from its original funding.

The team of six behind the venture, students at Avonbourne College all aged between 17 and 18, will now receive £1,000 of investment from enterprise charity The Peter Jones Foundation in order to grow their business.

Tycoon in Schools is a nationwide competition, spearheaded by Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones CBE, which aims to find the best entrepreneurial talent in schools by encouraging students to run their own ventures.

In 2013, the competition was backed by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), as part of a wider goal to encourage enterprise across the country.

Funnelling 4 Fuel’s achievements were recognised at a ceremony held at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Duke of York, with Peter Jones also in attendance.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Peter Jones said: “The Funnelling 4 Fuel team really stood out to me. They excelled in each area of the judging criteria, coming up with an incredibly innovative idea, working excellently as a team and getting the whole community behind them in such a short time frame.

“All of the teams have worked so hard and I have been bowled over by their enthusiasm and achievements throughout the competition. With thousands of students taking part, it has been the most successful Tycoon in Schools yet.”

James Runnacles, Funnelling 4 Fuel team member, said: “Entering the Tycoon in Schools competition was a fantastic experience. Not only were we given the chance to start up a business from scratch whilst still at school, we were generating a real profit from it.

“We have learnt an enormous amount from the experience, which we hope will stand us in good stead for our future ventures.”

Schools can register their interest for the 2014 competition by clicking here.

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