Drapers Den !

(c) The Drapers’ Company (c) Gerald Sharp

What a privilege it was to represent the Guild of Entrepreneurs as part of the judging panel at Drapers Den held at Drapers Hall on 12th December, 2019

My fellow judges were Mrs Kate Burns – General Counsel and Company Secretary, notonthehighstreet, Mr Ayas Fallon-Khan – Strategic Consultant on Regeneration Projects and Mrs Susie Villier-Smith, Operations Officer, Dallam Tower Estate.

Past Master and Chairman of the Judges, was Professor Philip Ernest Ogden

We had a tremendously difficult job choosing an overall winner from our heat, as the ideas, professional presentation, response to questions and commercial understanding was at such a high level from the students that participated.

Ideas ranged from a company turning food waste into fast food for those in need, tech that helps you find eco friendly alternatives to your purchase, and a social enterprise bakery, training young people to become bakers. 

The victorious school was Sir Geoge Monoux, they created a health app that could advise medical professionals of your pre existing conditions in an emergency situation, if you were incapacitated or had a communication barrier, such as language. The ideas born from an experience of one of the students in the groups parent.

The Livery Academy Awards is an innovative programme designed for City livery companies to engage with state schools to help stimulate business and entrepreneurial skills among their sixth-form pupils. The school teams are given a brief to develop a business idea and present it to an industry standard to a distinguished panel of judges and an audience of company members. 

The companies provide each team with mentors from the finance marketing,advertising and creative sectors. This vibrant programme continues the livery’s ancient remit to encourage and nurture young people, giving them key skills which they can carry into the world of work.

The programme originated at the Grocers’ Company in 2013, and is now in its fifth year. The winners from each company event are then invited to compete at a Grand Final at Mansion House to decide an overall winner – I’ll be there routing for Sir George Monoux!

As in previous years, livery company heats are scheduled for November & December 2019 with a Grand Final at Mansion House on Monday 27th January 2020.

Freeman Jenny Garrett

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