A team of entrepreneurial school pupils from Port Talbot have been named Wales’ ‘Young Business Dragons’ after winning a national competition for their creative solution to tackling the climate change crisis.
Students from Ysgol Bae Baglan in Port Talbot picked up the top title at the Young Business Dragons competition out of over 4,500 year 9 pupils from schools across south west Wales who all took part in the three competition rounds.
The annual Young Business Dragons competition, which is organised by Young Dragons and this year was sponsored by Welsh Government, University of South Wales Trinity St David’s and Swansea Bay Business Club, gives year 9 students the opportunity to think creatively and put a business idea into practice.
With this year’s theme being ‘Save the Planet’, each team was challenged with the idea of coming up with a business plan for a product or service that could have a positive effect on the environment while also being a profitable business idea.
Held at Swansea’s Village Hotel, Ysgol Bae Baglan wowed the judges with their business idea ‘Ecotel’, an app that enables hotel guests to monitor their carbon footprint during their stay and receive reward points for minimising their energy usage which they can redeem against hotel services.
Runners up at the event included Queen Elizabeth High School in Carmarthen who came up with the idea of a device that can be fitted onto exhaust pipes to reduce carbon emissions and St. John Lloyd School from Llanelli who pitched an innovative irrigation system to capture and reuse rain water in food production.
Sue Poole, Co-Director of Young Dragons said
“Each year we continue to be amazed by the creativity and initiative of the young people who take part in Young Business Dragons. This year, the schools came up with some really innovative solutions to address global challenges, many utilising technology to exploit potential green business opportunities. They learn so much from the competition and develop the valuable skills that employers will be looking for such as team working and problem solving. It’s a privilege to help nurture this young entrepreneurial talent.”
To help the students develop their entrepreneurial mind-set, each team was assigned a mentor, these are made up of local business owners, passionate educationalists and Role Models from Welsh Government’s youth entrepreneurship service, Big Ideas Wales. Role Models are entrepreneurs and business owners, some of whom have received support from Big Ideas Wales in setting up their own enterprise, and provided students with advice in financial planning, marketing and business development.
Kathryn David, Co-Director, Young Dragons said:
“Young Business Dragons helps find tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and promotes the pool of talent that exists across Wales. The schools in this year’s final have shown real entrepreneurial flair to tackle an existing problem that we’re all facing today. That made it difficult for the judges to pick the overall winners from some excellent ideas, but left us feeling extremely excited about the promising future business talent in Wales.”