Sidcot students slaying in contest launched by Dragons’ Den star

The group make their products from biodegradable materials

The group make their products from biodegradable materials - Credit: Sidcot School

A group of Sidcot School sixth-formers are on track to challenge for the top prize in a competition created by a Dragons’ Den star.

Eco Origin were top of the Enterprise table until Christmas

Eco Origin were top of the Enterprise table until Christmas - Credit: Sidcot School

Emma Tilley, Eva Lohan and Hannah and Maya Fairley are the brainpower behind Eco-Origin, a business venture created as part of the Tycoon Enterprise competition.

The challenge was founded by entrepreneur and founding-dragon Peter Jones. CBE. It is open to all schools in the UK and pits their business prowess in a league system.

Each team in the key-stage-five category is given a £2,000 goodwill loan to fund their projects, and any profit made is theirs to keep.

Through selling organic and biodegradable tote bags, handkerchiefs and drawstring bags, the Eco-Origin gang topped the enterprise leader board before Christmas but were knocked from top spot over the festive period and find themselves in third place.

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The company's footing was fairly straight-forward, Emma said: "As soon as we needed a unique selling point, we all knew it would be environmental.

"It fits well with our school values, which remind us to look after the environment. At the moment, we have a profit of around £700."

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The young entrepreneurs conquered their school market and had to begin accepting bulk orders to keep up with the demand.

They said: "We cleared out the school! I think everyone is walking around with one of our bags. We've moved on to bulk orders and currently have one with Yeo Valley and other businesses."

Business teacher James Adams said: "The competition has allowed the girls to consolidate the theories they are learning with practical experience. This will help when they leave school for their next steps."

The whole team agreed that putting their business knowledge to the test had helped massively.

"There's a lot more components than we thought," they said. "We can't just go to the magic stock room."

The Tycoon Enterprise finalists are traditionally invited to Buckingham Palace for the end ceremony.

The competition winners will be announced by the Peter Jones Foundation on April 20. Visit Eco-Origin's web site at

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