A TALENTED team of young entrepreneurs from Cradley Heath are celebrating after clinching second place at a national competition at Buckingham Palace.

The ten sixth formers from Ormiston Forge Academy met HRH The Duke of York and the founder of the Tycoon in Schools competition Peter Jones CBE from Dragon's Den.

Both dignitaries were impressed by the students' company Backstage Bunting which designs, produces and sells a fashionable range of decorative flags.

Backstage Bunting managing director Mohmana Shahid, 17, said: “It’s a dream come true to be a Tycoon in Schools finalist.

"We are humbled to be recognized by such a powerful business entrepreneur, our teachers and customers. It proves that hard work really does pay off.”

Tycoon in Schools challenges schoolchildren from all over the UK to develop their own real-life businesses.

After pitching an idea to their teachers, they receive a loan of up to £1,000 from the Peter Jones Foundation to get their companies up and running.

They then raise as much profit as possible during a seven-week trading period, before submitting a final evaluation report to a panel chaired by Mr Jones himself.

The judges consider profitability, teamwork, business concept, sustainability and community engagement.

Ormiston Forge Academy director of business studies Claire Bennett said: “I’ve been so impressed with the students’ dedication to each other, their teamwork and customer service skills.

"They took every day seriously. They celebrated and got frustrated and pulled through to develop a sustainable business model.

She added: “They were excellent role models to other students and demonstrated a mature, professional attitude at all times. Tycoon in Schools has been an eye-opening experience of real world activities. They grabbed every opportunity open to them.”

Peter Jones said: “The standard was so high this year that we decided to crown not one, but three winners. All of the teams have worked so hard and I have been bowled over by their enthusiasm and achievements throughout the competition. With thousands of students taking part, it has been the most successful Tycoon in Schools yet."