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Year 12 Rise to Business Challenge

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The preliminary round of the Business Challenge saw Year 12 students from both Divisions teaming up to create innovative business ideas from scratch. This annual careers event helps students to build their entrepreneurial abilities while also honing skills relevant to the workplace, such as communication, teamwork and public speaking.

Working in mixed groups, they spent the morning brainstorming concepts, conducting research and writing a detailed business plan which had to include both a marketing strategy and projected finances.

Several mentors were on hand to provide their expertise and advice throughout the morning. Governor Roger Gould, career coach and Prince’s Trust mentor Stephanie Foster, Eldercare UK Ltd Director Chris Hopkinson and Home Instead supporter Phil Warrington chatted to students as they developed their ideas and asked questions to guide the fledgling businesses in the right direction.

After lunch, the groups were given eight minutes to pitch their business to one of four ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panels of judges made up of Bolton School staff and mentors. The whole team had a role to play in putting across their business concept, including the relevant financial information.

Each panel chose the best business idea from their set of competitors, and the four groups going forward to the Business Challenge Final are: Body Sense, an infrared sensor that scans body temperature and automatically adjusts the room temperature to the optimum; NAPEE, a scented biodegradable nappy available for delivery as a monthly subscription; The Puppy Place, a dog café in Manchester’s Northern Quarter which also aims to work with mental health charities; and Trail and Tail, a pet collar with a host of extra features such as GPS, fitness tracking and a scent diffuser.

These groups have just over a week to polish their business idea and perfect their pitch, in the hopes of winning the Business Challenge Trophy and a prize on 6 December.

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