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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire students make finals of national competition

Four teams from Gloucestershire schools made it to the finals of a national entrepreneurial competition.

The 14-18-year-old students from across the county participated in the national Side Hustle competition, organised by YourGamePlan and supported by Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and finnCap Group.

Of the 25 national finalists, four were from schools in Gloucestershire. The 25 young entrepreneurs were invited to a Dragons' Den-style pitch in London in front of a panel of judges.

Isla Norton, Lani Grainger, and Carool Ann Sunny from Balcarras School in Cheltenham submitted their U-Scan idea, which featured body scanning technology to enable shoppers to enable shoppers to buy tailor made clothing.

Pippa Hung, also from Balcarras, devised Fits for Days, a clothing rental service which enables people to rent whole outfits to help reduce landfill.

Pippa said that the most beneficial part of the finals day was: "Making lots of new friends from up and down the country. Everyone else were also business students so we all had lots in common! The judges were nice and took time to come to speak to us."

Representing Sir Thomas Rich's School in Gloucester, Tom Evans came up with a clothing business called gymdolfin, a clothing brand which donates £5 from each sale to WWFUK to help protect our oceans.

The finalists received one-to-one professional mentoring for six months and the top five entries received an additional share of the £10,000 investment fund to go straight into growing their business.

The Side Hustle Initiative 2020/21 was a nationwide search for 14-18-year-olds, who are either already delivering a side hustle or who have an amazing business idea that they are passionate about launching and want to develop.

Claire Bennison, head of ACCA UK, said: "We're thrilled to support this initiative - it's social mobility in action, encouraging the business leaders of tomorrow to take their first steps towards entrepreneurial success, regardless of their background. It gives young people access to real world learning, opportunities to grow their networks, alongside their own personal and professional development."

YourGamePlan works with 1,000 UK schools to deliver free, accredited employability training to 14-18-year-olds.

Danny Heath, founder of YourGamePlan, said: "Side Hustle is a way of giving young people pathways and support. Entrepreneurialism isn't seen as enough of a career option.

"This initiative enables them to work on their soft skills, have a chance to present and have some mentoring. To make it a fairer representation of societal wealth, we encouraged young people from less privileged backgrounds."

Supporting the development of quality careers education programmes in Gloucestershire secondary schools and colleges is the core mission of the GFirst Careers Hub, hosted by GFirst LEP and funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company.

Rob Jenkins, GFirst Careers Hub Manager, said: "Events like Side Hustle help to showcase the enormous entrepreneurial talent shown by students in the county. Our local remit, working in conjunction with the Careers and Enterprise Company and a range of partner organisations working in employability and skills, is to ensure that schools and colleges in the county are aware of, and have access to, high quality careers education experiences for their students to learn more about the world of work."

To find out more about the Careers Hub and to offer support to careers education initiatives in the county visit

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