HRH Prince Andrew recently took a break from the preparations for his daughter’s star-studded wedding to meet some other VIPs - from Biggar Primary School.
The Duke of York met them at Windsor Castle to congratulate them for being the only Scottish school to reach the finals of a UK-wide competition to encourage a new generation of business entrepreneurs.
In fact, the Biggar team were runners-up of the primary category of the Tycoon in Schools contest which had nearly 400 teams from around Britain taking part.
The idea behind the contest was to set each school team the challenge of dreaming up a business idea and then setting it up and running it for profit, the proceeds going to school funds.
The competition was the idea of Dragon’s Den star and business tycoon Peter Jones and he gave each team, including Biggar, £99 ‘start-up’ investment.
The Biggar team, dubbing themselves the Rocking Readers, decided to run their own second-hand book shop from the school.
Donations of books flooded in from parents and members of the public and the team was able to successfully do business between October and December last year, selling book bags along with used volumes.
The project also had the aim of promoting reading and encouraging environmentally friendly recycling through the re-use of books.
It was this - and making a 521 per cent profit on their original stake - that saw them go to Windsor Castle recently to receive their runners-up award and the personal congratulations of Prince Andrew, as Patron of the Peter Jones Foundation, and from their original backer, Peter Jones himself.
Biggar was up against other school ‘businesses’ that dealt in everything from soap manufacture to creating personalised necklaces.
At the ceremony Peter Jones said:“I‘ve been blown away by the ambitious and inventive businesses that have been started as part of this year’s Tycoon competition.“
A Foundation spokesman said: “The competition sits at the heart of Peter’s mission to put enterprise at the heart of the education system.
“The impact of encouraging the nation’s young people to take part in Tycoon and experience firsthand enterprise skills is clear to see.”
Now with some valuable business experience behind them, our young entrepreneurs are sure to go on to, er, Biggar and better things!