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For the 4th year running Debenhams Ottaway Partner, Luke Tucker Harrison, has mentored a team of young apprentices in the St Albans Connect Dragons Apprentice Challenge. Debenhams Ottaway also advised the Dragons Apprentice Challenge pro bono on franchising the challenge in 6 other areas in the South East.

This year his young apprentices from St Columba’s College embarked upon the ambitious task of creating MP3 players pre-loaded with music from a variety of different genres ranging from classical to rock all from artists in and around St Albans.

After some initial teething problems with the Chinese supplier, the team’s shipment cleared customs and they set about selling the MP3 players at a variety of locations including the St Albans Chamber of Commerce Breakfast and the Alban Arena. All in all the team raised £1,025 for their charity, the St Albans Counselling Foundation. What is more impressive, however, is that they had stock worth approximately £3,000 on the balance sheet at the end of the challenge which they intend to continue selling for the charity.

The Super Dragon judges, who awarded the team the prize for “Most Innovative Business Idea” described the team as “well-deserved winners”. Oliver Males, apprentice team leader claimed, “What we learned from the Challenge was sales, determination and perseverance”. Commenting on the success Luke Tucker Harrison said “This year the team took on a tough project which was made harder by the short period of time in which they had to complete the challenge. They pulled together as a team, planned their strategy and executed it, overcoming all the day to day hurdles of any business.”

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