BUDDING business leaders have laid their cards on the table – and raised thousands of pounds for orphans in Africa.

Students from the Allertonshire School, Northallerton, recently took part in a young entrepreneur competition to sell as many Christmas cards as possible.

Tutor groups became mini-enterprises, complete with managing directors, treasurers and publicity officers, to market their wares, raising £2,200 for the charity Imagine.

In the past seven years the school has raised £42,700 for the Mozambique charity.

Imagine works in the rural area of Ka Tembe, a region stricken by war, floods, poverty and Aids.

It currently operates five houses looking after 50 orphans, providing a home, education and skills, clothes and a brighter future.

So far the Allertonshire School has provided money for school desks, uniforms, shoes, computers, food aid, goats and chickens.

Founder and managing director of Imagine, Lorraine Williams, flew over to the school for the launch of the annual challenge last year.

A special assembly has just been held to reward the students who raised the most money with sponsors Ricoh presenting prizes to the young entrepreneurs, including a Kindle and a camera donated by Imagine.

First prize went to Ella Almond who raised £420.