I Am Looking For

Students Show Creativity and Business Acumen

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Four teams of Year 12 students congregated in the School's Arts Centre for the final of the annual Business Challenge. These were the winning teams from the business plans pitched on the initial competition day. The students had just a week to refine their varied concepts and perfect their presentations in preparation for the final, where they had to present their idea once again in front of a panel of judges in a Dragon’s Den style contest to see which business was worthy of receiving potential funding.

The judging panel this year was made up of: Governor Roger Gould, Stephanie Foster, a Careers Coach and Phil Warriner, a former BT employee, all with extensive entrepreneurial experience.

Each of the teams presented their business ideas to the judges, peers, staff and family and then answered searching finance and marketing questions from the judges. They also clarified issues such as the level of competition in the marketplace, as well as questions specific to their business ideas and presentations.

Before announcing the winner, Stephanie Foster on behalf of the judges, praised all of the teams' endeavour, teamwork and initiative. “The four finalist teams in this year’s competition have really impressed both with their presentations and the products they have devised to take to market. The students have exhibited the skills that employers are seeking – not just intelligence and good delivery skills but real business acumen and creativity. You have used your influencing skills well and what we have seen tonight bodes well for your future careers.”

Winning the competition overall was Napee. The judges were impressed by an innovative idea which would help to alleviate a major world environmental problem. In second place was The Puppy Place, a dog café in Manchester’s Northern Quarter which also aims to work with mental health charities; in third place was Trail and Tail, a business retailing a pet collar with a host of extra features such as GPS, fitness tracking and a scent diffuser and in fourth position was Body Sense who offered an infrared sensor that scans body temperature and automatically adjusts the room temperature to the optimum.

All of the finalists received prizes, and the Napee team, made up of Ollie De Blainsin, Nathan Hayes, Joseph Leary, Lauren-Rae McGann, Sana Thagia and Charley Wakefield, was presented with the Business Enterprise trophy at the end of the evening.

The competition showcases pupils’ teamwork and presentation skills while also allowing them to hone their time management and a host of other entrepreneurial talents.


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