The winning pitch at Dragons Den came from the Ryde Academy team, pictured with Dragons Jacquie Tarry and Jamie Busby


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School business enterprise team Swish from Ryde Academy has just won another fantastic accolade as part of this year’s Young Enterprise Company Programme.

The competition features schools and colleges from throughout the UK who compete in a business enterprise initiative to design, launch, trade and present a new business idea from start to finish.

On the Island, Ed-WISE coordinate the event (on behalf of Young Enterprise) and it has seen some hot competition this year, with a total of 8 teams taking part.

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In late February, Swish succeeded in securing the most investment in its business venture by winning the Dragons Den competition, where all 8 teams competed for real cash investment from a panel of well-known local business people. The pot of real cash funding was provided by Cowes Rotary and Island Business Network and each team earned their cash investment on the day.

The Coronavirus outbreak disrupted the progress of many teams, but Swish and Node (from Island Sixth Form) went forward for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Regional Final.

Swish added to their successes by winning a trio of Awards for Sustainability, Team Journey and Best Company at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Regional Final. This means that they take a next step up the competition ladder with a South East regional final in June.

A delighted Joy Ballard, headteacher of Ryde Academy commented:

“The team have put in a tremendous out of effort this year, made even harder by the Coronavirus outbreak which meant they had to trade and maximise their profits in a much reduced timeframe. Winning a trio of Awards in the finals is just incredible.”

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Joy was keen to stress how much of a team effort these Awards have been:

“Swish could not have been so successful without the help and support of Katie Bell, here at school, and from the team’s business advisor, Reuben Loake.”

The team look forward to competing at the next level against other schools across the South East region.


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