Zack wins Highly Commended award at Buckingham Palace

Prince Andrew with Zack and Peter Jones.
Prince Andrew with Zack and Peter Jones.

Zack Griffin, from Eastwood High School, has won the Tycoon in Schools 2015 Highly Commended award.

Finishing second only to a team from Devon, Zack triumphed in the key stage four category of the competition, before being announced as the overall runner up at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace yesterday (Monday, March 14).

He was presented his awards by competition founder and star of Dragons’ Den Peter Jones CBE and HRH The Duke of York.

Zack, 14, said: “It feels really good to have won the Highly Commended award – I feel really proud to have been a part of the competition. I’ve now got a lot more enterprising skills that will stand me in good stead for later on in life.”

The Newton Mearns entrepreneur runs Teens 2 Go, a company that enables skilled teenagers to earn money sharing their expertise with peers and members of the community.

While Zack taught classes in computer coding, he trained others to deliver sessions in “academics, music and sport”.

The company raised £1,292.60 profit during seven weeks of trading.

Zack continued: “What I enjoyed most was seeing all my teen tutors enjoy their new jobs and hear all the great feedback from all the kids about their services. The most important thing I’ve learnt is that if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.”

Tycoon in Schools is an annual competition that challenges youngsters to run their own real-life businesses using a loan of up to £1,000 provided by the Peter Jones Foundation.

Participants then raise as much profit as possible during a set trading period.

Once trading is over, teams submit detailed evaluation reports to Mr Jones, who picks the winners from each key stage category, as well as one overall champion and runner up.

Mr Jones said: “Tycoon in Schools gives pupils the opportunity to experience the highs and lows of running a real business. As well as promoting skills essential to employers, such as confidence and resilience, it shows that self-employment is a viable and rewarding option. This sort of initiative is vital to the future of our economy.

“Having reached approximately 320,000 students this year, the competition was very tough and I’m extremely proud of all our finalists.

“We were very impressed with those taking part in our trial primary school competition and have therefore decided to roll it out across the country for Tycoon in Schools 2016.”