Bright sparks scoop the top prizes

Date published: 26 November 2015

TWO teenage entrepreneurs from Oldham have scooped the top awards in a national competition.

Hassan Iqbal (18), a former Peter Jones Enterprise Academy (PJEA) student at Oldham College, won the top £3,000 prize in the Edge Challenge.

The contest, run by independent education charity the Edge Foundation in partnership with the PJEA and Gazelle Colleges Group, aims to help young entrepreneurs get their business start-ups off the ground.

Entrants were shortlisted and faced a tough pitch to a London panel before the best of the bunch were selected to attend The Skills Show in Birmingham.

Hassan’s winning journey saw him submit a business proposal and excellent ideas for his creative media agency, CreativePixels, and former Dragon and patron of The Skills Show, Theo Paphitis, awarded him with his prize money.

Hassan said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed to have actually won the Edge Challenge. It has been a really interesting experience which has helped to build my confidence and will help to build my business in the future.

“I’d like to thank my family, my friends, Oldham College and all the organisations which have helped me to come this far.”

Alongside Hassan was fellow Oldham College PJEA graduate, Daniel Arundel (19) who came second.

Daniel, who runs his own bakery — Arundel Bakery, won £1,250 which will allow him to branch out with a free-from product range, including cakes and crumbles.

He said: “I’m very proud of coming so far. A big thank-you to everyone for their support. The prize will help to fund the business with new equipment and help us to progress further.”

David Harbourne, acting chief executive of the Edge Foundation, said that the Oldham boys had demonstrated remarkable business sense with their plans.

“It really is a pleasure to be able to fund their ambitions and set them on the path to success,” he added.