teams earn opportunity to compete in The National Enterprise Challenge finals

Wednesday April 7, 2021

Before the end of term, students from Concord’s Form 3 and Form 4 took part in The National Enterprise Challenge, in partnership with Air Products. Since 2013, more than 250,000 young people have taken part in the annual programme which is the UK's largest enterprise and employability competition. And with support from ambassadors such as former Dragons Den stars Theo Paphitis and Nick Jenkins, to name just two, young people are set real life business challenges focused on testing their enterprise skills. Concord’s students took part in this year’s Key Stage 4 challenge, set by NatWest, and were tasked with creating their own social enterprise solutions, considering how it would operate, and market and promote their products and services to their target audience, before pitching their business proposal to the in-house judging panel. Ideas were varied and creative, including: a scheme to recycle PPE masks into products such as clothing, both as a way to become a greener society as well as a successful for-profit venture; another scheme to tackle the typically regarded ‘throw-away’ products in our day-to-day lives; a financial money-managing company; and another notable project included sleeping pods to help with sleep deprivation. For Form 3, the winning idea (by Noah, Lucy, Jady, Tasha, Matei, and Betty) was a social enterprise focussed on solving the ever-growing problem of sexual harassment, as well as touching on other ‘social injustices’ – through educational talks aimed at young people, funded by active sports and social classes. Speaking of the team’s success, Noah said: “It was a very enjoyable day that helped build teamwork and collaboration skills. “The challenge itself and the delivery of our business made us think quite carefully about how to handle challenges such as funding, public perception and how to convey a message effectively.” Form 4’s winning creation (by Linda, Ruby, Ibiye, Nicole, Panpan, Yuen Yau, and Sarah) was an enterprise offering organised classes to teach the old and the young about technology, with different difficulty levels.  For example, basics to get accustomed with modern technological devices, and more advanced topics such as html, python, binary. Linda said: “In addition to expert speakers, our idea also included getting the younger generation involved through volunteering schemes, sharing their knowledge and skills of today’s smart devices – also aiding their work experience and communication skills.” The winning team from each form will now have the opportunity to compete to become The National Enterprise Challenge Champions 2021 at the Grand Finals event taking place later this year. Reflecting on his third trip to Concord, Delivery Manager, Liam Brookes from The Inspirational Learning Group, said: “Year on year, the students continue to surpass any prior expectations! “Working with various forms at the college is a genuine pleasure and it’s amazing to see not only the passion and commitment with regards to the academic curriculum that students showcase, but also their burning desire to apply that knowledge in a wide range of settings – notably in The National Enterprise Challenge, exploring their enterprise and employability skills.” He added: “I believe that in fantastic institutions such as Concord, it is vital that we educate young people that these skills should never be underestimated. “The ability to confidently present themselves as individuals, manage their time effectively and remain organised, to name just some of the skills young people have demonstrated in this challenge, throughout their life should be seen equally as imperative to their future success as academics, the two working in tandem. “The ability to embrace these skills will help students to identify and truly maximise any opportunities that present themselves in the future."