BUDDING computer entrepreneurs from Dewsbury have won a top award for business stars of the future.
A team of students from Westborough High School won the national 'Tycoon in Schools' enterprise competition, created by Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones CBE.
The group, called Lease 2 Learn, were presented with the award at Buckingham Palace this week – and handed £1,000 to help grow their fledgling business.
They also met HRH the Duke of York, who is patron of the Peter Jones Foundation.
More than 2,000 young people across the country entered the Tycoon in Schools competition.
The six Year 11 students – Usman Iqbal, Tia Ramsden, Yaseen Patel, Zain Yasin, Aboo Bakr Abid and Emma Longstaff - received £280 as a start-up loan from the Peter Jones Foundation to launch their idea in October.
The business allows students, teachers and the Westborough community to hire school IT equipment, including refurbished laptops, at an affordable price.
Lease 2 Learn’s main aim was to allow everyone to have access to the technology that they need to succeed.
The idea was conceived after they discovered that more than a third of students at Westborough do not have access to a computer at home.
Lease 2 Learn was chosen as the winner by a panel of judges based on profitability, teamwork, business concept, sustainability and community engagement.
The team had a final profit ratio of a massive 1,839 per cent.
Peter Jones said: “Lease 2 Learn really stood out amidst the competition. The team blew me away with their professionalism – and most importantly, their business idea to support other students’ from their school.”
Lukman Patel, head of business and ethics at Westborough High School, said: “It’s really important to educate children about running a business, and Peter Jones’ Tycoon in Schools has provided a fantastic and inspirational experience for the Lease 2 Learn team.”
The Duke of York commended the scheme's mix of business and ethics and said it showed the entrepreneurialism that could happen if young people were able to stop fearing failure.
"There is a need for "de-risking" the mind," said Prince Andrew, who added that pupils needed to be able take risks with business ideas and be allowed to fail in a safe environment.
"One of the things I was taught when I was at school was that the best way of being successful is to fail.
If you can learn about failure, but do it in a way that's a safe environment ... you learn what not to do next time."