FSB’s CHALLENGE TO YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS
Over 40 students gathered at the Lyndhurst Community Centre to take on a challenge that saw them work with local business experts and develop both their enterprise skills and imagination. Budding young entrepreneurs from schools in Southampton, Eastleigh and the New Forest battled for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Challenge Cup at an enterprise challenge event organised by the FSB and Solent EBP. The year-10 students were assisted in the challenge by volunteer FSB Business Ambassadors. The high standards achieved by the students gave judges a difficult task but the overall honours were taken by Wildern School in Eastleigh.
Each team of six students were asked to set up a theatrical production company, with a local school commissioning three performances as fundraisers to buy a new school minibus. The teams were asked to make as much money as possible and to look at various aspects of the business such as finance, marketing, set and costume design and innovation; with each member of the team required to take on a specific business role in order to meet the overall team aim. The teams were monitored throughout the challenge, and judging concluded with all teams presenting their ideas to the judging panel.
FSB New Forest Branch Chairman, Rob Dewing, who helped to organise the event said: “All teams had the opportunity of working with a Business Ambassador, with a real-life business experience, to help guide the students through the detail of the challenge without giving them any answers. The focus throughout the challenge was to encourage students to think about financial planning and to make decisions and judgments on issues with an economic dimension. Our members were particularly keen to volunteer for such an original and productive initiative.”
The day was a huge success with all school teams completely enthused and focused on the challenge. Although the standard was incredibly high, one team did emerge as the judges’ favourite, with Wildern School from Eastleigh walking away with the FSB Enterprise Challenge Cup for 2010 along with accompanying gift vouchers.
“The day was rated as excellent by students, FSB Ambassadors and teachers alike. We hope that the challenge will become an annual event, with the FSB particularly keen to continue to support business and enterprise development within schools. Many FSB members, with their own small businesses, were happy to donate their time to support such a worthy aspiration. We feel it is important that school children have the opportunities to experience and be inspired by business and enterprise wherever possible because the next generation will be responsible for our future economic well being” added Mr Dewing.