09 July 2012
Rochford District budding entrepreneurs
Creative ideas, business plans and sales presentations were all on the curriculum at the Young Entrepreneurs Competition, which is organised by Rochford District Council and Enterprise in Education and involves all the secondary schools in the District.
The competition was the grand finale of the Young Enterprise Scheme, an initiative that aims to support a more enterprising culture amongst young people by developing the skills and awareness needed to succeed in business.
For the last six months, teams of Year 10 students from King Edmund School, Greensward Academy, The Fitzwimarc School and Sweyne Park School worked on a new business idea that would attract new business and growth for Rochford and its community, whilst being as environmentally friendly as possible. They were supported by The Enterprise in Education Partnership, who helped them to come up with a good business model and marketing plan.
This is what the teams were working on for six months:
· Create a new retail business in Rochford Town Centre. The aim is to bring more young people into the centre of Rochford.
· Draw a detailed plan of where the shop will be located with the reasons for its location.
· Produce a prototype of what will be sold in the shop
On Tuesday, 26th June at the King Edmund School in Rochford, all the teams were up against each other to give a presentation to a ‘Dragons Den’ style judging panel to reveal their product and advertising campaign. The judging panel was a mix of local know-how and successful entrepreneurs. They were Jody Owens-Hughes, the Economic Development Officer at Rochford District Council, Karen O’Dowd from Bou-Chic Designer Boutique and Julia Argles from Swift Clean.
Although it was extremely difficult for the judges to choose just one winning team, the winners were from The Sweyne Park School in Rayleigh who came up with “Lock and Key” – a shop selling bracelets and bracelet-making equipment. The shop could host bracelet-making parties out of recycled materials, and the prototypes of these were excellent.
All the teams produced excellent ideas and clearly demonstrated that an extensive amount of work and creativity had gone into their projects. The judges were all bowled over by the quality of the work and said that each of the students were a credit to their schools. Each of the students demonstrated skills that will serve them well within the business world.
Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Tourism, Heritage, the Arts, Culture and Business, Councillor Keith Gordon, said: “Once again young people in the District have shown that they are brimful of creative, exciting, innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.
The entries showed an incredible amount of thought and hard work had gone into each shop and what it would sell and I’d like to congratulate everyone who took part in making this competition such a success. They are all winners”