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Young entrepreneurs impress during special week

Wednesday, 23rd November 2011.

Students at Castle Manor Business and Enterprise College and Samuel Ward Academy gained a fascinating insight into what it takes to be an entrepreneur last week.

Supported by Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, a series of activities throughout the week took place in which local businesses worked with youngsters to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit.

The week has resulted in Castle Manor Business & Enterprise College being awarded the High Impact Badge of Honour to acknowledge the important contribution they are making to Global Entrepreneurship.

The award has been given by Global Entrepreneurship Week organisers Youth Business International to recognise the activities, supported by Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, which took place to encourage youngsters to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit.

There were seven events for Global Entrepreneurship Week in Suffolk, five of these in Haverhill.

Castle Manor students took part in a week-long competition, based on the TV series The Apprentice, which was won by year ten student Ben Carlyon.

Students took part in a series of challenges before facing Haverhill’s very own Alan Sugar in the boardroom played by Riki Baker, managing director of Haverhill company mendmyi Ltd.

In teams, the students were set tasks such as using £10 to raise as much money as possible for St Nicholas Hospice, creating a plan for an ethical clothing store in Haverhill, and to come up with new ideas to regenerate the town’s high street.

Each day a student was ‘fired’ leaving Ben as overall winner who won an ipad 2. Year 13 student Charlie Sigler, was runner-up.

To enter the Apprentice competition, students had to complete an application form stating why they should be chosen to take part. A total of 61 applications were whittled down to the final eight - Abbie Butler (yr8), Catherine Dennison (yr8), Charlotte King (yr8), Ben Carlyon (yr10), James Garner (yr9), Roseanna Hoque (yr8), Charlie Sigler (yr13) and James Carr (yr10).

Mr Baker said: “I was really impressed with all eight of the students, their attitude and professionalism towards each task was very impressive.

"As the week went on the tasks got harder and so did my daily decision. The final day made me very proud as both Charlie and Ben not only listened to what I had said to them individually the day before, but they had both picked up on what I said to the other as well and presented very thorough business plans.

"Ben's advertising plan just slightly pipped Charlie's. Ben's got some great ideas that I may well use myself in the coming months.”

On the Monday year seven students from both Castle Manor and Samuel Ward met to create the most efficient and effective production line they could for a fictional cake company using stickle bricks.

Students were judged on how many orders they completed and that passed quality control, developing their skills in time-keeping, teamwork, and reflection. The competition was won by Samuel Ward Academy.

Students from Castle Manor, Samuel Ward, Sudbury Upper and Kind Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds, took part in a Dragons Den style competition on the Tuesday.

Students braved the Dragons' Den of three local business people, and two KS5 students, to try to win prizes for their ethical business idea.

Castle Manor won Most Innovative Idea for their hair strengtheners that were powered by batteries charged by photovoltaic cells.

Samuel Ward won Highest Investment for their idea that saw greenhouse yields increase through converting harmful gases like carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide which the plants absorb.

King Edward VI School won Best Pitch for their ethical footballs idea, which would mean that premiership footballs were made in an ethical and environmentally sound way and displayed a clear logo that showed this.

Students from the Haverhill Young Chamber, which includes students from Castle Manor and Samuel Ward, met to think about potential business ideas that they could feasibly run at school or in the town at an all-day How To Start A Business workshop run by Young Chamber co-ordinator Tim Kerr.

Matt Bryant, enterprise co-ordinator, said: “It was a fantastically successful week which allowed students to take part in some very practical business activities to develop their skills.

"We must thank Riki Baker of mendmyi Ltd who stepped in at the last minute to become our Alan Sugar and he did an amazing, and convincing job. He was aided by drama teacher Steve Powter and KS5 student Katie Shaw.

“Some very interesting and clearly viable ideas were suggested in the Young Chamber workshop, as well as some slightly more ambitious ideas. The students were given Young Chamber T-shirts at the beginning of the day and worked on ideas in mixed school teams. These ideas will be followed up in future Young Chamber meetings."

On Friday, the enterprising students ran their own activities to raise money for Children in Need.

Haverhill Online News

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