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Reading Schoolgirls Win Fashion Contract With Glow in the Dark Make Up


Six school girls from Kendrick School in Reading have won the Financial Mail’s Apprentice Challenge with an innovative idea for glow in the dark make up. The group of 15 and 16-year-olds were rewarded for their bright idea with a £3,000 prize for their school and £100 each.

The nationwide Financial Mail Apprentice Challenge competition was sponsored by Natwest, who have offered to help the winners and two runner-up teams to launch their products. The competition this year was to invent, cost and bring to market a new beauty product. The winning team pitched their idea of a glow in the dark make up range – called ‘Ultra Visible’ – to a professional beauty team from the John Lewis partnership, who also heard ideas from the other finalists.

Judges for the competition included Peter Ibbetson, the chairman of small business for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group; Nicky Kinnaird, the founder of beauty boutique Space NK; Olcay Gulsen, founder of fashion label Supertrash; and Liz Locke from BBC1’s The Apprentice. The judges were impressed by a number of aspects of the winning campaign, including a vibrant advertising campaign and thorough knowledge of their product, including the science underpinning it.

Ultra Visible was announced as the winner in front of an audience of more than 350 students and teachers. The event took place at the end of the Financial Mail’s science and technology-themed Breaking the Mould careers conference in Mayfair. At a later awards ceremony hosted by the Mail on Sunday the team received their prize from Princess Anne.

‘I was amazed at the talent and can see all of them as outstanding entrepreneurs,’ said Natwest’s Peter Ibbetson. The team of six originally estimated that they could sell the glow in the dark make up for £9 a pack, and turn a profit within three years, but experts from John Lewis advised them to consider a higher price.

For more information about Glow in the Dark Make Up, visit or for other glow products, such as glow bracelets, visit


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