One week left for Swindon teenagers to showcase their entrepreneurial talent

By Anita Jaynes on 26 May, 2020

There is just one week until the deadline for entering The Cotswold Challenge for teenagers in Swindon and the surrounding area – those who might have been about to take formal examinations if it wasn’t for the pandemic. 

Teenagers who would have been taking GCSEs, A Levels or equivalents, are in yrs 11,12,13 (or equivalent) at school, college or undertaking apprenticeships, and who live or study within a 25 mile radius of Cirencester (centre of the Cotswolds) have until 9pm on Monday 1st June to submit their entries. 

“We are appealing to young people, their parents, grandparents, friends, even their employers to share this opportunity to showcase their talent by entering this contest by the closing date,” said one of the organisers, Swindon media consultant Fiona Scott. 

“We have had more than 140 entries across three categories – art & design; creative writing and enterprise & innovation. We would particularly welcome more entries in the latter category. Do you have an idea for the latest video game, the latest app, a product idea, a solution to problems around Covid19, cyber security or do you have a disruptive business idea which could rival the likes of Uber or Just Eat?…”

Among the judges for the enterprise and innovation category will be farmer Adam Henson, owner of the Cotswold Farm Park, author and BBC presenter. 

Adam said, “I’m very pleased to support this great initiative for young people at this difficult time. So much will be on their shoulders so this is a chance for them to try something for themselves. Hopefully there will be some great ideas, perhaps even something for our farmers who will need all the help they can get!”

Young people who meet the entry criteria from across Swindon can submit an entry for the challenge and there will be a first, second, third and fourth prize in each category of £500, £300, £150, £50 and runners up will get a book token. The Challenge launched in April and remains open until 9pm on Monday 1st June.

Young people who take part must live in the relevant area and for those under the age of 18 parental or guardian permission will be sought if they wish to participate. 

The prize money has already been donated in full by sponsors who are: 

  • The Fred And Marjorie Sainsbury Charitable Trust
  • Jeevan Thandi of Karhoo
  • Timothy James & Partners, independent financial advisers 
  • Jason Houghton, Salperton Park Estate, Cheltenham 
  • The Fairford & Lechlade Business Club 
  • Royal Agricultural University, Gloucestershire  
  • The Paperback Shop, of Fairford
  • Marion Whittaker 
  • Author Kevin Wignall
  • Meg Rivers Bakery, of Shipston On Stour 
  • Suzannah Harvey, CEO of Cotswold Airport
  • Kim Harvey of The MadHatter Bookshop, of Burford. 
  • Nicky Godding, founder of Business & Innovation Magazine
  • John Biddulph, of Rodmarton Manor
  • Emma & Jamie Tuck of Bulldog Websites, of Swindon 
  • Allison Murray of Allison Murray Design, of Eastleach
  • Barry Jackson, of Aspire Academy
  • Bettina Harvey of Hector & Queen

Details of the competition, the criteria for entry and the briefing pack are all available via the website

Pictured above: Adam Henson, owner of the Cotswold Farm Park, author and BBC presenter.