Budding young entrepreneurs have been pitching their business ideas in a Dragons’ Den-style competition to raise money for a children’s hospice.
Among the 30 schools from North and Mid-Wales taking part in the event organised by the Tŷ Gobaith/Hope House charity was Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen in Caernarfon.
More than 160 pupils from Year 10 took part in the Dragons’ Lair competition to win a £10 stake so they could win a stake to run their business at a school fair later in the year.
The business dragons included Ken Grayson, the boss of Peninsula Home Improvements, based in Gaerwen on Anglesey.
Mr Grayson said: “I’ve been very impressed because they’ve thought through their ideas, they’ve thought about the pricing point, they’ve thought about how much money they’ve got to spend.
“All the groups I’ve seen have thought of something unique – they’ve included a pie face game where people will pay to see somebody get a cream pie in the face and at the other end of the spectrum we’ve had a business offering makeovers.”
“I think something like this is great in the school setting because it’s not a purely academic exercise. It is to do with enterprise which isn’t necessarily the same thing so it gives kids a chance to be more creative and raise money for a very good cause at the same time.”
One of Mr Grayson’s favourite ideas was a football-based game called Bin Shot which was dreamt up by a team of five boys.
Team member David Bohana, 14, explained: “The idea is that you get three shots for maybe a £1 or less, and you need to get the ball in the bin by kicking it from around 15 metres away. If you win you get a bar of chocolate.
“I’ve had a go myself and it’s really tough – it’s harder than it looks. I can relate to this because I love football myself, and we’ll all give this a try, and we think this will make a lot of profit.
Team mate Isaac Elghenzai, 15, said: “I was really nervous. But near the end I felt more confident because I saw that I was with my friends and we all really think that this is a good idea, and the dragons at the end said that it is a good idea. They were very impressed.
“I think it went very well, and we succeeded in getting the £10 investment. I’m very pleased.”
Teacher Catrin Elis Jones was delighted with the attitude of the would-be entrepreneurs who are studying for their Welsh Baccalaureate.
She said: “Enterprise is an element of the baccalaureate so students learn to work on their skills to venture, skills to work in a team, to work with others, develop an idea, learn about the world of work outside of school. There are 30 teams, and there are 160 pupils in the year.
“Everyone will go on to the enterprise fair. It’s part of a unit of work, and then the hope is that if everyone doubles their £10 that’s £600 to go to the cause.”
Tŷ Gobaith fund-raiser Katrina Lawson was delighted how things went.
She said: It’s been great, especially since it’s the first year of the Dragons’ Lair initiative.
“By doing this with Tŷ Gobaith not only are they ticking the boxes for the baccalaureate qualification, but they’re e raising money for people in their community as well.
“Everyone is a winner, and Tŷ Gobaith in needs to raise over £2 million each year to run.
“It’s a mountain to climb. It is an amazing amount of money that we need to raise, and the majority of that is raised by the local community because we only receive around 18 per cent funding from the Welsh Government, the local health boards as well for these vital services