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Could local student be the nation?s next budding entrepreneur?

4th November 2015

A talented student from Barking & Dagenham College is one step closer to winning a £3,000 helping hand to see his business dreams become a reality. <br><br>After a nationwide search and competitive pitch to a judging panel in London, 19 year old Surya Srinivas Dinavahi from Ilford has been chosen as a finalist for the Edge Challenge.

Off the ground

The Edge Challenge is a competition set up by independent education charity, the Edge Foundation in partnership with the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy and the Gazelle Colleges Group. It aims to help young entrepreneurs get their business start-ups off the ground.

Individuals or teams of up to five people from FE and sixth form colleges across the country were asked to submit detailed business proposals including financial and marketing plans.

Business idea

Surya’s business, Adept Consultants, aims to simplify accounting and bookkeeping for SMEs. If he wins the top prize he will spend it on developing the company – setting up a website, purchasing software and marketing the business.

£5,000 top prize to be presented by former Dragon, Theo Paphitis

Before the winner is announced, the budding entrepreneur will join two other individuals and one team in a final presentation to a live audience at The Skills Show at the NEC Birmingham. The prizes of £3,000, £1,250, £750 and £5000 for the winning team, will be presented by Theo Paphitis, Patron of The Skills Show and former Dragon.

Surya says:

“I’m really proud of myself for getting to this stage in the Edge Challenge. It’s been an exciting few months and getting to present my business to a live audience at The Skills Show will be the icing on the cake.”

David Harbourne, Acting CEO of independent education charity, the Edge Foundation, says:

“We wish Surya all the best ahead of The Skills Show. He has used great business acumen to identify a gap in the market for Adept Consultants. There are many paths to success and it is our pleasure to be able to help him implement his business plan.”

Peter Jones CBE, Founder of the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy says:

“Surya has done a superb job in getting to the final of the Edge Challenge. This competition really demonstrates the talent young people have, not just in thinking up new ideas and products, but in following them through and creating viable businesses. At the Academy, we work hard to instill these entrepreneurial attributes in our students and I am delighted to see Surya leading the way.”

Fintan Donohue, CEO Gazelle Colleges Group, says:

“Many congratulations to Surya for being selected a finalist in the Edge Challenge. Gazelle Colleges Group is delighted to see the Edge Foundation and our colleagues from the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, embrace the wider definition of entrepreneurship.

“The experimentation with start-up that this competition offers young people, allows them to develop a mind-set that will strengthen their employment prospects, whether they chose to become an entrepreneur or seek employment within an organisation. Enterprise competition is an integral part of the student experience across the Gazelle Colleges Group network and the student role models that have been chosen as finalists help create a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship that will inspire students in the future.”

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