We visited Nene Park Academy on the schools Pledges and Futures day to run a Build a Business session with the year 13 students. The premise for the session is for the students to be split into teams and to simply come up with an idea for small business, including budgets and marketing and then to present this to a panel to decide on the the most viable and creative business.
Each team were split into non friendship groups to encourage team working and given an original coffee bean sack (donated by Masteroast) and to turn this product into something else creative, useful and profitable. The teams worked on brain storming and coming up with multiple ideas before settling on the one they felt would work best. They then went through production costs, staff and office costs before annual profit was made. Looking at different marketing streams such as TV, social media and press releases they came up with their target markets.
All the businesses had names and branding and were then pitched to a panel of volunteers from local business Skanska and Aecom. The business volunteers who had throughout the session been chatting with the students and looking at their ideas and processes offered advice and encouragement. From ideas such as care packs and fashion bags the winning business was to create lightweight and easy to transport stretchers for war torn areas or disaster zones. Thinking outside the box and doing research into additional materials and also the practical sides of the stretcher such as strength and length showed an excellent team effort.
The session was superb way for the students to work outside of their comfort zone, discover in the world of work that you don’t get to choose who you work with and also to realise some of their potential and business sense. All that were involved contributed and business volunteers was hugely impressed with the work ethic and imagination of the students.