Matthew Hancock Winners' Story

Matthew Hancock Winners' Story

Thursday, 27th of March

Matthew Hancock Winners' Story

Matthew Hancock, Minister for Skills and Enterprise, launched his “What if” Challenge in November at Small Heath School in Birmingham. This entrepreneurial challenge proved to be very popular – we received a whopping 432 submissions! We shortlisted the top 25 entries from which the Minister selected a winner and four runners up who were all invited to join him and his team in Westminster, on Monday 24th March 2014.

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: "Meeting inspiring people like the MyKindaCrowd winners and runners up is one of the perks of my job. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in all of them and they have what it takes to have successful futures.

"It is important that young people throughout the country are inspired to pursue the careers that interest them and make the most of the opportunities life presents."

The Winners


Budding entrepreneurs Shamraiz Zaib & Usman Ghaffar submitted a joint entry. They explained "It's good to experience how a senior member of the government operates in his day to day job. We also feel proud on winning the challenge and thank MyKindaCrowd for the opportunity and Matthew Hancock's team for choosing us!"

The Runners Up

The runners up are:

  • Alessandra Gibson- medic in the making
  • Bethany Howell- part time performer and future lawyer
  • Rachel Farrington- future politician and one of our MyKindaCrowd Student Ambassadors!
  • Samuel Bowyer- tech entrepreneur from Leicester

The Winners' Day


The two winners and four runners up arrived, bright and early, at the Department for Education in Westminster; ready to find out what it is like to be a Minister in Government.

The day began with a personal tour of the Houses of Parliament led by Michelle Ogunyemi, one of the Minister’s Parliamentary Apprentices.

Michelle led the students through the House of Commons and the House of Lords, explaining interesting facts about the history of the buildings and their contents. The winners and runners up loved the richness of the House of Lords and the quirkiness of the House of Commons.

Following the tour, the winners and runners up joined Matthew Hancock for lunch in the Department for Education to discuss their winning ideas and how they could be implemented. The Minister congratulated them on making it into his top 5. Their winning ideas will be shared with Lord Young and his team who will consider them as part of his “Enterprise for all” consultation.

The winners and runners up were then joined by two young entrepreneurs: Zefi Hennessey Holland, of Kivo and Becky White of onesixeight:fitness. Zefi and Becky talked about what motivated them to start up their own businesses and shared tips about how they got their business ideas off the ground. James Cathcart of the British Youth Council and Rhammell Afflick, (a former member of the UK Youth Parliament and young entrepreneur), also talked to the winners and runners up about how they can influence other Government policies by becoming members of the UK Youth Parliament.

The winners and runners up then made their way back over to the House of Commons to sit in the special viewing gallery to watch Michael Gove, Matthew Hancock and other Government Ministers answer Oral Questions on Education. Bethany Howell really enjoyed the day and said it has inspired her to start her own business, she said "I am starting to think of new ideas and I hope to become a successful business woman! I also liked when we had our tour of the House of Commons and got to sit in the viewing gallery!"

And finally, to end the day, the two winners shadowed Matthew Hancock during a meeting of the Apprenticeships Ambassador’s Network.

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