Friday 09 November 2012
Entrepreneurial youngsters from across the country will do battle on Tuesday 13 November in the final of this year's Premier League Enterprise Challenge at the Westminster Conference Centre.
Six schools, representing Norwich City, Middlesbrough, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool, will try to impress the judges and assembled dignitaries with their business ideas and solutions for improving customer service for fans on matchdays.
The Year 9-11 youngsters will have to present a business plan as well as their pitch to a panel of judges, with one team being crowned 2012 Enterprise Challenge winners.
Ahead of the contest next Tuesday, premierleague.com asked the competitors their thoughts about the Challenge and how it has helped them as students. The third part of our series hears from a school that impressed at the first semi-final at Villa Park.
Teacher: Natalie Constantas, Business & Economics
Students: Serena Scibetta, Caroline Dunnett, Molly Fallon, Holly Wheeler,
How did you get involved?
Molly Fallon: An internal competition was held within the Business GSCE in our school for Years 9 and 10. This was to decide who would go on to pitch at THFC. My group - myself, Serena Scibetta, Caroline Dunnett and Holly Wheeler won with our bakery business based in Covent Garden. We didn't have very much time and our busy after-school agendas did us no justice. It left us with late nights and constant rehearsals over and over again but it was all worth it.
How did you get the idea for your pitch?
Molly Fallon: Serena is a season ticket holder at Tottenham and was able to conduct primary research at various matches on the areas of weakness in which we were given to work on. The fans came up with suggestions and gave us the right responses we needed to create a successful pitch. We took ideas from American sports like baseball and football games; also taking advantage of new technologies for ideas.
What is it like to have made the final?
Serena Scibetta: Getting into the final is a big achievement for us as it shows that hard work will end up in a good result. We have come so far and have had so much support and don't want to go home being runners up. We're here to win this!
What have you done to prepare for the final since you made it through from the semis?
Holly Wheeler: We have conducted more research, called meetings with Tottenham Hotspur a number of times, been to training days and matches. We have done non-stop rehearsals, improvements and we have filmed ourselves and watched it back over. It's been so hectic and challenging, I just cannot wait for the finals.
What do you feel this competition has done for the members of your team/your school/personally?
Holly Wheeler: This competition has opened so many doors for everyone involved in this competition. I feel so much more confident with the way I present now and know that people really do believe in me. For our school, this has been a massive achievement; being an outstanding school is important to us and our success shows that we are capable of challenges like this. Walking down the hallways in school and getting so many congratulations is incredible.
How much are you looking forward to it?
Caroline Dunnett: I can't wait to see everyone else's hard work. I have never been involved in something like this and we have got so much praise from it. I didn't realise it was this big!
How has the school helped you with this project?
Serena Scibetta: Miss Constantas has been behind us 100%, taking us to Spurs for further negotiations, keeping touch via e-mail, announcing our success on the website, at open evenings, in the school newsletter and in assembly. We have also been given a headteacher's award for our efforts and even a big display has been put up about it; they really are proud. We do not want to let anyone down and this is why we have to give it our all at the finals and show them what we are made of.
How has the club helped you?
Caroline Dunnett: The club have also been behind us 100% (big thank you to Gareth Dace and Chris). We are like one big team, sitting in a box overlooking the pitch while munching on chocolate fingers discussing further ideas and ways we can really up our game. I am really grateful for the help our school and the club have given us and without them I don't think any of this would have been possible.
What elements of business studies have you learnt?
Serena Scibetta & Molly Fallon: Throughout the term and with this competition, we have learnt everything there is know about Business studies! We have had a lot of help from Miss Constantas and our parents Luigi Scibetta and Tim Fallon. I hope to achieve my A/B grade in Business and Economics and if I do, I know that this competition will be part of the reason why.
What advice would you give other students/teachers thinking of taking part in the challenge?
Molly Fallon: I'd tell them to go out and accept every bit of support offered - you can never get enough. Never give up either, just because things go wrong one day doesn't mean they have to stay like that. Sit down, think and you'll find the solution. Teachers: the challenge is a great way to engage more in your students' work and learn how capable they really are. Work can can get boring but learning the way I have throughout this challenge hasn't been. I have learnt a lot, not just from our pitch but from watching others - looking at their teachers' faces and knowing that there are so proud is amazing.