If you are a student and you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, you might be one of the winners of our Enterprising Student Awards! Along with the award, winners also get exciting prizes like a laptop and cameras. Every year, we recognise the students that we feel have shown the most commitment and entrepreneurial flair throughout the course of the Challenge.
Paridhi Puri (Ahlcon International School, India) – 2017 Enterprising Student Winner
16-year-old student Paridhi Puri, is a key member of the ‘Candles and Cakes’ business at Ahlcon International School in India. As president of the School Enterprise Club, she encourages her fellow teammates and leads “complements challenge” which has fostered teamwork and support. She has also taken on a wide range of roles within the business, from production to campaigning for more members.
Paridhi’s commitment and passion to the business has helped it grow and gain momentum outside the school. With a keen insight into her audience, she skillfully promoted the business through social media and school posters. She also represented India at the UNICEF KidsTakeOver event, where she advocated for school businesses to other participants and the Deputy Director of UNICEF.
Idoko Mercy (Government Girls’ Secondary School, Nigeria) – 2016 Enterprising Student Winner
17-year-old Idoko Mercy has been a huge asset to the Farmers’ Market business at Government Girls Secondary School, Abuja. As Company President, she represents the business to the public and she helps to coordinate the team, motivating them and taking the lead in overcoming challenges. She’s shown great innovation and problem-solving skills – she had the idea of setting up an offline platform to sell their produce, which now generates 30% of the business’ revenue!
Her IT skills have been particularly helpful. When the business’ website and mobile app went down simultaneously, Mercy was able to fix the problem single-handedly. She’s even been able to bring in extra funding for the project by setting up advert channels to allow other companies to place adverts on their online platform. But despite her leadership role, she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, and she still helps with day-to-day tasks like arranging the products display.
Her colleagues regard her as the “point person” of the team, and her teacher writes: “Her commitment, passion and work rate is awesome and amazing. She makes herself available at every unit of our enterprise physically and mentally… Her enthusiasm and energy is a great asset to our School Enterprise Challenge.”
Mpilo Vilakazi (Hillcrest High School, South Africa) – 2016 Enterprising Student Runner-Up
Mpilo Vilakazi has shown outstanding entrepreneurial skills in his leadership of Hillcrest High School’s events and refreshment business. As founding member and elected team leader, Mpilo provides the team with innovative ideas which are described by his teacher Miss Burger as “the cornerstone of our success”. When the team were brainstorming fundraising ideas, Mpilo was able to think outside of the box and had the idea of hosting a games stall at the grade 11 market day. The event was a huge success and helped the team raise the funds they needed to start their business. He also showed great innovation in creating a sustainability plan for the business – for example, he set up an internship programme for younger students, so that they would be ready to take over the business when the older students graduate.
Mpilo has also played an important role in motivating his team. At the beginning of the year, the business team lacked confidence and weren’t sure whether they could succeed in the School Enterprise Challenge. Yet Mpilo was determined to enter and do well. As his teacher says, “Mpilo has confidence and believes in his dreams and he is willing to do anything and everything to achieve these dreams. Mpilo inspires our club to venture with him to achieve these dreams.”
Pihu Suri (Kulachi Hansraj Model School, India) – 2016 Enterprising Student Runner-Up
16-year-old Pihu Suri has been a member of Kulachi Hansraj Model School’s business team for more than two years. In her first year she showed great potential, and as she gained confidence she decided to continue with the School Enterprise Challenge the following year. She was then appointed Handicrafts Manager and in this role she demonstrated outstanding creativity and dedication, devising innovative ideas to maximise profits and working tirelessly in the workshop room during her free periods.
Her extraordinary leadership skills led to her being promoted to Director, and it is in this role that she has really flourished. Her nominating teacher says: “She is an initiative taker and comes up with lots of ideas of promoting the school business…. Her positive attitude and respect for members of the team helped in overcoming all challenges.” Pihu supported her teammates and teacher by leading an entrepreneurship event where she trained the other students how to create handicrafts and shared SEC resources for setting up a business. She is also responsible for delegating tasks to the different teams, and when planning an event she carefully explains each team member’s responsibilities. Whether it is planning events, producing sale items, or selling at a function, Pihu has proven to be a vital part of the business team.