Harpenden schoolgirl entrepreneur wins national Be The Future challenge

Maisy Smith from Harpenden won a national award. Picture: Roundwood Park School

Maisy Smith from Harpenden won a national award. Picture: Roundwood Park School - Credit: Archant

The future’s bright for a Harpenden schoolgirl after she was named one of the UK’s next generation of social entrepreneurs.

Maisy Smith, 15, from Roundwood Park School in Harpenden was one of three student winners of the national Be The Future challenge, run by Pearson and the Peter Jones Foundation.

The competition challenged students aged 11-18 to create and pitch a social enterprise idea, including a 60 second ‘elevator pitch’ video.

The enterprise had to be designed to make a profit, alongside addressing a social or environmental issue linked to one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Maisy’s winning idea in the Key Stage 4 category was Bowerbird Clothing, a clothing rental business for ethically sourced and made clothing looking to eliminate clothing waste to landfill.

The judges said this showcased an acute knowledge of the fashion and textiles industry, and they thought her Maisy’s conscientious research and competitive analysis demonstrated that her business was well-positioned to deliver a viable and exciting solution to challenge the fast-fashion industry.

Maisy said: “I am very pleased and proud to have won this competition and would like to thank the judges for their kind words. I think social enterprise is very important as it can help improve the world”.

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The winners will each receive a personal online enterprise masterclass this term, hosted by the Peter Jones Foundation, with the opportunity to meet and hear from leading social entrepreneur, Joana Baptista.

Cindy Rampersaud, senior vice president of BTECs and Apprenticeships at Pearson, said: “It’s inspiring to see these students coming up with innovative, practical, and thoughtful business ideas to support the UN’s sustainability goals.

“The business and enterprise sector offers a wide range of exciting and rewarding career opportunities, and plays an important role in creating access to careers for many. I think the winning students will benefit hugely from the insights, advice and mentorship that will be provided.“

Managing director of the Peter Jones Foundation, Bill Muirhead, added: “The social and ecological consciousness of these young entrepreneurs is inspiring, and the quality and scope of the entries is testament to the creativity and determination of the next generation of social-impact business leaders.”