Student business is to help NEETs find work

Recruit21 team in front row includes Sam Naylor, Will Armistead, Duncan Balloch, Edd Russell, Olly Paterson and Jack Brownrigg. Winners of the SWAN CIC and NEP dragons den competition
Recruit21 team in front row includes Sam Naylor, Will Armistead, Duncan Balloch, Edd Russell, Olly Paterson and Jack Brownrigg. Winners of the SWAN CIC and NEP dragons den competition
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A WILD card entry by a group of Brackey students saw them rise to the top during a dragons den style competition last month.

The Magdalen College School students thought their ambition of creating a recruitment business focused on young people was sunk when they did not get through the first round of the enterprise competition with other Northants Schools.

But with the latest OECD figures showing that more than a fifth of young people in the UK are out work, judges saw the value of the Recruit21 business plan and booked them a place at the finals held at the iCon Centre in Daventry on Thursday, May 3.

The competition was hosted by of the SWAN Rural Enterprise Centre and Northants Enterprise Ltd and dragons included Carol Morrin from logistics firm DHL, and Steph Smalls from credit card giant Barclaycard.

The group organised themselves as a normal business with; 17-year-old Duncan Balloch fulfilling the role of managing director, 17-year-olds Sam Naylor and Jack Brownrigg were responsible for business development, Will Armistead, 16, and Olly Paterson, 17, on finance, and Edd Russell, 17, was the sales and marketing director.

That approach gave them the edge during the final and judges thought their ability work as a team, with each able to answer questions on their own field expertise, provided for a slick presentation.

Mr Balloch said there had been a lot of interest in their proposals and are in talks with a firm willing to push the idea toward becoming a profit making business, which has the added benefit of helping the section of the labour force hit worst by the recession

He added: “It was incredible to win because we had put a lot of work in and to have that recognised was fantastic.”

Mr Russell said: “It took a few days to sink in, to have two massive companies say they were interested in what we were doing was huge.”

The idea of marketing a recruitment agency toward young people and businesses wanting to hirer them had already attracted good feedback from the local area after pitching the idea to members of Brackley Means Business.

BMB chairman Jan Dean said: “It’s good that young people born and breed in Brackley are coming up with winning ideas.”