Unveiling the business minds of the future
The text below is the official press release from Coca Cola:
Conwy school means business at enterprise competition
A group of six students from St David’s College, Llandudno are celebrating after being crowned regional winners of the Coca-Cola Enterprises Real Business Challenge, a national competition to inspire the business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future.
Nine school groups from across Wales descended on the iconic Millennium Stadium to compete in the competition, with the support of Olympic silver-medalist, David Davies and Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes, Alun Davies.
The north Wales team, made up of Hugo Bennett, Cameron Bell, Simon Dutton, Ashley Meigh, Harvey Maguire, Mark Lambert, was eventually named the regional winner following a ‘dragon’s-den’ style pitch. The youngsters’ impressive presentation demonstrated comprehensive business plan for a campaign to encourage consumers to recycle more and litter less in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The students will now progress to the National Final in London on 25 January next year, where they will compete against 10 other regional finalists from across the UK.
The Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) Real Business Challenge is an annual enterprise initiative linked to the national curriculum. Accredited by Edexcel, the leading provider of internally recognised educational qualifications, it is designed to give students aged 14 and 15 genuine business experience, and provide them with some of the skills and attributes needed in a work environment. Now in its ninth year, the 2011 competition focuses on sustainability, and is being offered as part of Get Set, the official London 2012 education programme.
At the regional final event, St David’s College were joined by Year 10 students from Blackwood Comprehensive School, Builth Wells High School, Chepstow School, Cyfarthfa High School, Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, Pen Y Dre High School, Cantonian High School and the Bishop of Llandaff High School to receive coaching from CCE professionals when developing their business ideas before presenting them to the Real Business Challenge judging panel. Teams were scored on their enterprise skills, including team-work, creativity, business viability and presentation skills.
Mark Dewhurst, Regional Director at CCE and head judge, said, "All of the schools here today were worthy finalists and the judging panel had a difficult job selecting a winner. However, St David's innovative concept in linking an incentive scheme to their recycling programme was the cream of the crop and we invite them to join the other regional winners from across Wales in the London final.
“Since its inception in 2003, the competition has reached in the region of 60,000 young people, benefiting a large number of new schools across the country each year. The Real Business Challenge allows students to experience business first-hand and to practice skills that will give them a competitive edge in the job market. It provides a great opportunity for students to express their creativity, and aspire to become the business leaders of tomorrow.”
Deputy Minister, Alun Davies addressed the finalists. He said: “The real business challenge is offering young people the opportunity to get a taste of the business world, with over 60,000 pupils taking part in the competition nationwide. I hope this insight will encourage some of them to take up a career in business in future and I’m confident that Welsh business will be in safe hands with these young people. I congratulate St David’s College for their victory and wish them the best of luck for the national final.”
The pupils’ accompanying teacher, Mark Turner, commented, "We are delighted to have had the opportunity to be here and could not be more proud of all the students. They demonstrated outstanding team work and leadership skills all day. The Real Business Challenge is an amazing programme and our thanks go to Coca-Cola for devising such a programme.
"The win would be an outstanding achievement for any school, but ours is a school that specialises in supporting children with dyslexia and so the win is even more amazing, as the vocational nature of this enterprise skills programme allows children of all abilities and talents to shine".
As a reward to St David’s College, the students’ poster, designed to encourage recycling, will be professionally produced and displayed on a billboard, providing an opportunity for their work to have genuine impact on the local community.