BUDDING entrepreneurs from a Bolton school have beaten off competition from hundreds of students across the North West in a business enterprise competition.

The Ladybridge High School students took part in the Apax-Mosaic Enterprise challenge and will now present their business idea at a national event.

The business stimulation game has been running since January and has taught youngsters to establish and run their own business, with the input of local business people.

The top five projects were then put forward to pitch at the regional finals.

The Ladybridge team — made up of Year 10 students, Justin Pugh, aged 14, Habeeb Hussain, aged 15, Khabir Hussain, aged 15, Abrar Azad, aged 15 and 15-year-old Tawsiqul Islam — presented their idea for an allotment-based business to a room of about 150 North West business leaders at the regional finals in Manchester.

Assistant headteacher, Sean Gallagher, said: “It is quite a simple idea, but very effective — they would plan to take part of the outside land at the school and provide some allotments the public could use for a rental fee — the funds could then be used to provide another space for allotments that primary schools could come and use.

“This competition provides students with the opportunity to work on their entrepreneurial skills and it has given the guys a lot of confidence — they have really represented the school well.”

One member of the winning team, Habeeb Hussain said: “This project has given me ideas and has also given me a mindset that I can do what I want to do in life.

“We are all really excited to have won this stage and would like to thank our teachers and the business mentors who have helped us.”

The Enterprise Challenge is the flagship programme of the Mosaic Network and aims to raise the aspirations of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, through exposure to mentoring and positive role models.