Tycoon in Schools

Royal Hospital School in the running to win Dragon's Nationwide Enterprise Competition

A team of six Year 12 pupils from the Royal Hospital School are on their way to Buckingham Palace on 1 March as finalists in a national enterprise competition. They made a profit of £1,238.38 after launching their successful clothes brand SOLO. as part of Tycoon in Schools; a national enterprise competition, spearheaded by Peter Jones CBE, which gives young people a chance to run their own business and demonstrate entrepreneurial skills.

Tycoon in Schools aims to encourage budding entrepreneurs to get involved in business by giving them a start-up loan of between £50 and £1000 to run a business whilst at school or college. This year the stakes, were higher than ever before with around 400 teams and more than 2000 pupils going head to head. The young tycoons from the Royal Hospital School received £756 as a start-up loan from the Peter Jones Foundation for Enterprise to launch SOLO. their clothing and accessories brand for teenagers. They traded between October and December 2017 and generated a fantastic profit ratio of 164%.

The team was required to submit a business plan, launch in a restricted trading phase and then evaluate their efforts. They used Facebook and Instagram social media channels to raise brand awareness and display product ranges. Nicholas Sim, Managing Director of SOLO. commented: "Our products were very popular across the year groups and we ended up ordering more stock than we predicted. On Black Friday we set up a pop-up shop in the History Department during lunch time and after school to sell our stock at a discounted price which was very successful. We also managed to sell our clothing to friends and family outside of school and our social media gathered a lot of attention."

Delighted by the inspirational businesses in the final, Peter Jones CBE said: "I've been blown away by the ambitious and inventive businesses that have been started as part of this year's Tycoon competition. It will be a great honour to announce the winners at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in March, alongside HRH The Duke of York KG, Patron of the Peter Jones Foundation. I look forward to meeting all of the students and teams and hearing even more about their business ventures."

Tim Brightwell, Head of Economics and Business at the Royal Hospital School, said: "Getting involved in Tycoon has allowed our pupils to demonstrate their entrepreneurial skills, experience the challenges of running their own business and gain an invaluable level of financial awareness. We plan to widen access to this great initiative by introducing the competition into our GCSE Business curriculum next year as well as offering it as a co-curricular opportunity for those taking Business A Level and our new BTEC National in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Diploma (equivalent of two A level subjects)".

The SOLO. Team
Nicholas Sims - Managing Director
Holly Folkard-Smith - Managing Director
Natasha Neyland - Finance Director
Adam Smith - Production Director
Tzay Rhodes - Marketing Director
Sonya Khrapova - Sales Assistant

For more information about Tycoon in Schools:


The Peter Jones Foundation for Enterprise (FFE) was founded in 2005 by entrepreneur and star of Dragons' Den, Peter Jones CBE. The Foundation exists with one simple yet challenging remit: to improve the lives of young people by equipping them with enterprise skills that will improve their life chances, whatever path they choose.

The FFE delivers meaningful enterprise experiences from primary school through to sixth form and beyond, through a range of pioneering educational activities that champion entrepreneurship. We do this through our three programme strands which work to increase the economic, social and educational outcomes.

ENCOURAGE – The Encourage programme is delivered through the FFE's flagship Tycoon Enterprise Competition. Tycoon is a unique national enterprise competition for students aged six to 18. Every participating team writes a business plan, is lent money, starts a business and competes with other student companies in a safe and controlled environment. The competition is split into four categories and is free to all state schools and colleges. We provide goodwill start up capital, so only when student companies breakeven, do they repay their loan.

EDUCATE – The Educate programme is delivered through the FFE's accredited Courses and Qualifications. We offer a suite of sector leading vocational courses and qualifications in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. This offer includes the flagship Peter Jones Enterprise Academy package, where colleges and schools can host and run their own academy. We also run standalone qualifications that are available at BTEC L2 and L3 to schools and colleges as well as our Be Your Own Boss programme for vulnerable young adults. Each course comes with full teaching resources as well as engagement with our corporate and entrepreneurial partnership network.

EMPOWER – The Empower programme is delivered through the FFE's Enterprise Alumni scheme. Students who have completed our Encourage and Educate programmes become 'Peter Jones Enterprise Alumni' and we support them into one of three successful outcomes; employment, Higher Education or starting their own business. Being an Enterprise Alumni is a lifelong badge and commitment, and we work to link alumni with a network of business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Find out more on our websites: www.peterjonesfoundation.org, www.pjea.org, www.tycooninschools.com