Six entrepreneurial teenagers have secured funding from Dragons’ Den millionaire Peter Jones to set up a business on the Fylde coast.
AKS pupils Taylor Cornall, Sam Mathews, Tom Mathews, Jake Dyas, Jake Bywater and Sam Ingham Gore successful pitched their ‘Essence Candles’ idea to the businessman’s Tycoons in School Scheme – and won £250 start-up cash.
The 17-year-olds have had to come up with a business plan, create a product people want to buy and will now try and sell the product, with any profit made going to their two chosen charities – Fylde Sharks Swimming Club and AKS Action.
The group has created Essence Candles – 100 percent natural home-made candles made from eco-friendly soya wax in a variety of scents. The team will try and sell as many of the £6 candles as possible and compete against other students from across the country for a chance to visit Buckingham Palace and meet Peter Jones in person.
Taylor Cornall, from Team Essence, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to give something back to the community by hopefully raising lots of money for our two chosen charities.
“As a team we understand these kinds of opportunities don’t come around very often so we are determined to make the most of this.”
Fellow team member Tom Matthews, added: “We chose to support Fylde Sharks Swimming Club as two members of our group work as swimming teachers there, offering swimming lessons to disabled youngsters.
“We found out a donation of £12.63 will cover the costs of enabling one child to enjoy a free swimming lesson and really wanted to help.
“We have also chosen to support AKS Action, a charity set up by our school to support people worldwide with a project in Tanzania to create clean water supplies, toilets, a blind rehabilitation centre, new classrooms and a library.”
The ‘Tycoons in School’ programme gives college students the opportunity to have a taste of the business world before actually venturing out and entering the career market.
Peter Jones, who has amassed a fortune of almost £500m with interests in mobile phones, television, media, leisure and property, hand-picks the business plans he thinks will work and provides a loan of £250, which must be paid back out of the profit made.
Mr Jones has appeared on every series of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den show, investing in 55 businesses along the way.
Sam Matthews, from Team Essence, added: “We just hope people like our products and show that by buying them. We really want to make a success of our venture while making the most money possible for charity.”
Essence Candles can be ordered singularly or two for £10 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, visiting Essence Candles Fylde on Facebook or tweeting @essencefylde.
The students will also be selling the candles at the AKS Christmas Fair at school on November 28.