Having served on the Greater Manchester Police Force for 34 years, I’ve seen first-hand how disruptive the absence of aspiration and ambition can be to a young person’s development and future success. Unfortunately, it’s often young people growing up in some of our most deprived communities that feel the most disconnected from future opportunities.
That’s why Mosaic, an initiative of The Prince’s Trust, was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2007 to create opportunities for young people of all backgrounds growing up in our most deprived communities.
Each year, Mosaic runs its annual Enterprise Challenge competition in secondary schools across the UK, helping thousands of young people aged 11-16 years old raise their aspirations, confidence, self- belief and motivation by having relevant and effective role-models to look up to and engage with.
Generously supported by the Apax Foundation and Qatar Charity UK, the competition is designed to help students learn about establishing and running a business through an interactive business simulation game.
In the process, Mosaic enlists the support of volunteer mentors with professional backgrounds to support small teams of students, helping them formulate a business idea all the way from initial conception to thinking about every area of the business, including budgeting, turnover, marketing, staff, distribution and scale.
The teams then pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, with the best judged teams going through to regional finals and eventually the national final. Here, the strongest six teams from across the country compete for real investment in their business.
I was honoured to have chaired the panel of judges for the 2017 North West Regional Final held last month, which saw ‘Team Healthwise’ from Ladybridge High School in Bolton take the title. The quality of the pitches was extraordinarily high and it was fantastic to see first-hand the excellent work Mosaic is doing to promote entrepreneurship in our local area.
But of course, none of this would be possible without the volunteer mentors who give up their time to coach, support and inspire the pupils taking part. Mosaic mentors come from a wide range of cultural and business backgrounds so that the students can aspire to careers in a range of different sectors whilst relating to a role-model with a similar background to their own. Their support is helping to make a real difference to the lives of young people and 80% of Mosaic’s beneficiaries are drawn from 20% of the most deprived areas in the UK.
Ultimately, Mosaic aims to help to expand connections, broaden career options and cultivate a new generation of successful adults that become beacons of positivity and role models for fellow pupils, siblings and the wider community.
If you’d like to volunteer as a mentor for Mosaic’s Enterprise Challenge or any of its other mentoring programmes, then please visit www.mosaicnetwork.co.uk, email email@example.com or call +44 (0)203 222 5913.