Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Earlier in the term, the whole of Year 9 took part in the inaugural Parents’ Association Future Entrepreneurs (PAFE) event. Arranged by the Girls’ Division PA, this competition divided the year group into teams and asked the girls to create a personal safety item suitable for children in Year 6.
As part of a week of activities off their normal timetable, the teams spent a day developing their products, from the initial idea, through the product design and marketing, and even the finances of their company. They were able to speak to pupils from the Junior Girls’ School to conduct market research. Four winners were put through to the PAFE final which took place two weeks later, giving the girls time to refine and perfect their presentations and ideas.
The teams offered up a variety of creative responses to the PA’s task. Illuminate had created fluorescent safety clothing for children to wear. Gaming app Panda Power included a panda mentor to guide children through difficult situations. SLL had come up with a GPS safety watch in a range of fashionable colours. SoCAE’s idea was a watch which helps to keep children safe while also looking stylish.
Each team presented their product and company in front of a panel of five judges, which had been arranged by the PA.
The judges were: Dave Bagley, the Chief Executive Officer of the charity Urban Outreach; the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Roger Hayes, who in addition to 31 years of experience as a Councillor for Smithills ward, serving on a host of committees in that time, has also worked in Personnel/HR Management for local government and a range of multi-national companies; Mrs L Jones, the School’s Head of Business and Economics and Young Enterprise Coordinator; Marilena Manfredi, the Managing Director of PLM and winner of the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year North at the Manchester Business Awards in 2004, who currently acts as a mentor for women starting in business; and Michael Smyth, Chairman of The Swansay Group, who is an inductee of the Automotive Hall of Fame and has been in business working for himself for fifty years, having set up and sold on a number of successful businesses, and was previously Chairman of Bolton Bury Training and Enterprise Council.
After the presentations, the judges had the difficult task of picking a winner. They were all impressed by the creativity and innovation across the board and, speaking on behalf of the panel, Marilena and Cllr Hayes both congratulated all of the finalist teams on getting this far.
However, the judges were unanimous in their choice of SoCAE as the winners of the first PAFE competition.
Ellie Bridge, Abigail Hughes, Olivia Kaute, Zara Rattoo and Sara Uddin received the PAFE trophy, certificates and gift vouchers, which were presented by the Mayor of Bolton. The girls will also receive priority entry into the Year 10 Young Enterprise competition as part of their prize.
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