Class Careers wins £20,000 entrepreneurs award

Two entrepreneurs on a mission to transform recruitment for school leavers were crowned the inaugural winners of the Baldwins Kick Start Young Entrepreneurs Award – on the same day as meeting Prince Charles and Prime Minister David Cameron.

Christos Orthodoxou (24) from Tile Hill, Coventry, and Anisa Haghdadi (23) from Kings Norton, Birmingham, received a £10,000 cash grant plus £10,000 worth of mentoring and accountancy advice from Baldwins to further advance the development of Class Careers.

The company connects school leavers aged 16-19 directly to employers through live webinars streamed from their offices directly to school classrooms across the country.

John Baldwin, David Baldwin and Shaun Knight from Midlands-wide accountants Baldwins along with Birmingham-based entrepreneur and guest speaker Jamie Dunn made the tough decision after around 240 business professionals heard presentations from the three finalists at the awards ceremony at Villa Park.

From the left, John Baldwin (Baldwins accountants), David Baldwin (Baldwins accountants), Christos Orthodoxou (Class Careers) and Anisa Haghdadi (Class Careers) with the winning cheque and trophy

Runners-up Sophie-Jayne Dyde (23) from Rugby whose Moustache Translation business will provide translation services and Wolverhampton’s Jordan Bowen (19), who set-up Jacob’s Jams and Spices with 12th generation recipes from a black journal given to his great, great grandfather Dr Ram Narunjun by Nepalese royalty, will both receive £5,000 worth of mentoring and accountancy advice.

Anisa met Prince Charles, the Prime Minister, Labour leader Ed Miliband and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg in her role as ambassador for O2 at the Campaign for Youth Social Action before heading back to Birmingham to team up with business partner Christos to deliver a winning speech.

She said: “It has been a phenomenal day. Winning is absolutely amazing and it means we can take ten steps forward with Class Careers.

“It is going to be amazing for us and allow us to maximise our opportunities and to fast-track the business.

“I loved every minute of doing the presentation and being here in front of all these businesses.” Christos added: “Having access to advice from Baldwins accountants will be invaluable along with mentoring from people who have built their business from scratch like John Baldwin.

“We are both extremely passionate about Class Careers because we want every student regardless of their background to have access to employers to make the most of their amazing talents.”

David Baldwin, a partner at Baldwins accountants, said this was just the beginning for all three businesses and particularly Class Careers.

“Connecting talent between schools and employers is extremely important and for Class Careers winning the Baldwins Kick Start scheme is just the start,” he said.

“We will be nurturing and supporting this fantastic business to help it grow and progress over the coming months and years.

“This is only the start of our annual ten-year scheme as we give young entrepreneurs a total of £300,000 throughout the initiative – and the standard for future years has already been set very high.”

Georgie Moseley, founder and chairman of Baldwins’ nominated charity partner HelpHarryHelpOthers, gave a presentation and thanked everyone for their contributions since nearly £25,000 was raised at the gala dinner for the charity which was set-up in memory of her son, Harry, who died from a brain tumour.