By Denise Marray /Gulf Times Correspondent /London
Qatar Charity UK has given its support as a key sponsor to a nationwide schools’ project to promote business skills and entrepreneurship. QCUK deputy director general, Fadi Itani, joined a panel of judges comprising executives from co-sponsor Apax Partners, Twitter, TeenzApp, Emergent Telecom Ventures and Hogan Lovells to select the winning business pitch from the finalists of the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge 2017.
Mosaic, founded by the Prince of Wales, and part of The Prince’s Trust, inspires young people from deprived communities to realise their talents and potential.
The 4,920 students aged 11-16 from 107 schools participating in the challenge benefited from the mentoring of 440 volunteers from companies including Jaguar Land Rover, PwC, Marks & Spencer and HSBC. The winning pitch was made by Skinners’ Academy, sponsored by The Skinners’ Company, one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies of the City of London.
QCUK‘s mission is to assist and empower individuals and organisations of the most disadvantaged people in society to improve their social and economic conditions through educational, cultural, economic and humanitarian programmes.
Speaking to Gulf Times at the event, Itani commented: “It is ideal to make these young people consider how they can be successful while they are still studying at school. We have seen some amazing ideas. At QCUK we believe in educational projects such as this as in our view education is the best investment and gift you can give to young people.”
QCUK works with a wide range of organisations including the International Medical Corps, the Refugee Council, the Humanitarian Forum, Amirah Foundation and the Muath Trust.
Its work with the Refugee Council involves supporting Syrian children and families who have arrived in the UK. It has also supported Amirah Foundation’s Birmingham resettlement programme for Syrian refugees in the UK. Amirah provides shelter, access to services and trauma counselling. The Muath Trust, established in 1990, was founded by members of the Yemeni community, the oldest Muslim community to settle in Birmingham. The Muath Trust plays a pivotal role in helping the community integrate within wider society by helping build its capacity and encouraging its members to play a more effective role within society.
At the final of the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge which was hosted by international law firm Hogan Lovells, the audience listened to an inspiring talk by special guest, Levi Roots. A musician and self-made entrepreneur famous for his Reggae Reggae Sauce, Roots explained that when he arrived in the UK from Jamaica at the age of eleven he had to struggle as he had had no schooling. But he had received a great, bolstering foundation of love and support from his grandmother who raised him before he was sent to the UK and who gave him a love of traditional cooking.
Growing up in a tough neighbourhood in London, he said that before he set out in the world he had to make himself fit to operate in the world – and that meant learning how to present himself, act on opportunities, understand the mechanics of enterprise and learn from others who gave valuable advice and support.
“When it comes to success it is important to remain true to your vision, be prepared to work extremely hard and to have the flexibility and lack of ego to recognise when you need to make a change of course,” Roots added.
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