Competition offers £7k in prizes to budding Barking and Dagenham entrepreneurs

Dene Botha

Dene Botha is from Empowered Youth which has teamed up with Barking and Dagenham College for the competition. - Credit: Barking and Dagenham College

A business competition for young people is being launched with more than £7,000 in prizes up for grabs.

Open to all 14 to 19 year-olds who live in Barking and Dagenham, the That’s Pitchin'! competition also offers winning entrepreneurs professional mentoring.

The scheme from Barking and Dagenham College is being run with skills-development academy Empowered Youth. It launches on May 5.

Dr Joy Kettyle, chief operating officer at the college, said: "We are so excited to launch this competition.

"The free workshops we are providing will mean everyone that enters will be gaining something valuable from the event. I can’t wait to watch the pitches at the final in June."

Pupils from all secondary schools in the borough are being invited to enter.

The competition aims to provide youngsters with the skills needed to grow their business ideas and free training to equip them with the expertise needed to hone pitches.

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Dene Botha, who is the founder and managing director of Empowered Youth, said: "With the past 14 months of incredibly difficult and disrupted education the youth have endured, research points towards high demand for more innovative methods of delivering education and content.

"The key words that keep surfacing are: modern, exciting, inspiring, interactive, cool, impactful and rewarding. Well, That’s Pitchin’! delivers on all of those and we’re proud to be involved with a college as forward-thinking as Barking and Dagenham College."

Virtual workshops are due to be held on May 10, 11 and 12. The aim is to help young people to develop their money-making ideas.

Youngsters aged 14 to 19 are encouraged to apply to take part by May 10 via the website

The last applications will be accepted on May 14.

After attending the workshops, youngsters will be presented with a series of challenges to complete.

Those who do best in the challenges will be entered into the grand final on June 9 where they will pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges.

The winner will receive a £2,500 cash investment for his or her business idea and six months worth of one-to-one mentorship from Empowered Youth Academy valued at £2,500.

Those who gain second and third places will scoop cash prizes.