What would you say about a business that made an ROI of 622%? How about one that did it in just eight weeks in the middle of a pandemic? And what if the business comprised of 12 year olds… 

Tycoon is a young enterprise competition, backed by Peter Jones of Dragons’ Den fame. Teams of pupils submit a business plan to the Tycoon Committee, are loaned real money and then have eight weeks to run their business.

Our Year 8 pupils have always enjoyed the completion, and last year all three teams made profits with Team Eco coming second nationally with an impressive profit of £640. This year, in the throws of a pandemic, things were very different. Social distancing meant that with no Christmas fairs, parents evenings, or any social contact outside the school, or even between year groups, selling would be a tremendous challenge, not to mention manufacturing (in previous years teams got together at each others’ houses) and team meetings. We decided to go ahead and enter teams, but my target was for the teams to break even. Three of the teams exceeded my wildest expectations and not only made a profit but were in the top 10 by profit nationally. Device Decor are currently first with an quite sensational profit of £1,057 – an ROI of 622%.

Emanuel entered four teams in the competition:

  • 7 Dwarves (Home made bath-bombs and soaps)
  • Device Decor (Vinyl laptop stickers in a  range of custom designs)
  • Team Immunity (Tie-die masks)
  • Paint’n’stuff (Hydro dipped phone cases and keyboards)

Unable to visit each others’ homes, the teams communicated via video calls and social media, set up websites, stayed after school to make their products (with huge thanks to Miss Mott and Mr Reid for staying with them) and generally left me feeling that if these are the business people of the future then our pension funds will be in safe hands.

Watch the videos of each team’s Tycoon journey here.

Mr Hale (Teacher of Maths and Eco-Coordinator)