Young entrepreneurs plan to build classroom in South Sudan

Times Series: Happy Shoe Shine company directors Madeleine, 9, Sophie, 9, with Dragons Lorna Jaffa, retired deputy headteacher,  parent, Jane Fitzpatrick, headteacher, Rob Allen, co director at Martyn Gerrard,Lawrence Summer, and sales director Warren Price Happy Shoe Shine company directors Madeleine, 9, Sophie, 9, with Dragons Lorna Jaffa, retired deputy headteacher, parent, Jane Fitzpatrick, headteacher, Rob Allen, co director at Martyn Gerrard,Lawrence Summer, and sales director Warren Price

Young entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas in a Dragon’s Den style event in the hope of raising enough cash to build a classroom for schoolchildren in South Sudan.

Pupils at St Mary’s CE Primary School in Dollis Park, Finchley, are setting up their own businesses including selling cakes, shining shoes and a dance club.

Split into groups, the children demonstrated their ideas to a panel of businessmen and women who gave them advice and tips today.

Each child has been given £1 which they will attempt to turn into £20.12 in their groups. All the cash they raise will go towards building a classroom in South Sudan, where the pupils currently have their lessons under a tree.

Niki Bettis, parent governor at the school, said: “We thought this would be a great way to teach the children to appreciate the value of money, help others as well as having lots of fun in the process.

“Today we’ve been trying to get them to understand costs and that they have to do market research to understand their target audiences. It’s been fantastic.”

The school decided to hold the Dragon’s Den themed project as part of its bicentenary celebrations this year.

The children will count up their profits in December, and winning teams will be awarded with special badges.

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