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 fourth part of our series features West Hill School from Stalybridge, who included ideas such as e-tickets and family pub style food outlets as part of their plans.
Teacher: Paul Butterworth, Assistant Head
Students: Joseph McDonald, Kai Kuang, Samuel Ormston, George Hart
How did you get involved?
Sam Ormston: We volunteered for the challenge this year, going through Manchester City heats which was against 10 teams. In the end we were picked for the semi-final in Newcastle. This was a huge achievement for us and we knew from then on, we had to put in double the effort. The teams would be better and the challenge was harder but we were prepared for this and were determined throughout.
How did you get the idea for your pitch?
Sam Ormston: We came up with lots of ideas on an A3 pieces of paper and we chose the best from our class. Some ideas came from experiences at non-league clubs and we looked at how we could use the family atmosphere at these matches in the Premier League. We developed our ideas into our presentation and kept making changes and practising until we perfected it. We were proud of our performance on the day and thought our presentation made a good impact.
What is it like to have made the final?
Kai Kuang: It's overwhelming! We never thought we would get this far but we strived for success and we believed in ourselves. All our hard work and determination has paid off for us. We practised every night after school. We're now looking forward to seeing the ideas of other teams in the competition.
What have you done to prepare for the final since you made it through from the semis?
Joe McDonald: We have been attending matches which has allowed us to continue surveying home and away fans. We have been able to look at their experiences, for example by joining the queues at half time. The club have been giving us tickets to the matches to help with research. After reading the feedback from the judges we also decided to extend our survey by putting it online.
What do you feel this competition has done for the members of your team/your school/personally?
Joe McDonald: We feel like we are representing Manchester City, West Hill School and Manchester as a whole. Our families are really proud of us and the whole school is urging us to do them proud at the final.
How much are you looking forward to it?
Kai Kuang: We are very excited! I couldn’t get to sleep the night before the semi-final and was up at 3am. It's a massive opportunity for us and we do believe we've got a chance to make a great impression at the final.
How has the school helped you with this project?
Joe McDonald: The club and school have worked closely together allowing us to practise during some lessons and to have time off to attend the Manchester City heat and the semi-final in Newcastle. We've also had a visit from our local MP which gave us a real boost!
How has the club helped you?
George Hart: Conrad Prendergast and Debbie Glynn from City in the Community have been into school to give us advice and presentation tips. They've taken our ideas back to the club and asked departments to give us ideas on costing and advice on how they could be implemented.
What elements of business studies have you learnt?
Kai Kuang: We have taken the theory from our business lessons and applied it to football as a business. We started with a huge number of ideas and have learned how to make these ideas easy to understand. We've tried to keep Manchester City's traditions in mind but apply some innovative ideas.
What advice would you give other students/teachers thinking of taking part in the challenge?
George Hart: Go for it. You get to visit places and meet people you would not get the chance to. We have increased in confidence greatly and are looking forward to competing against the other teams.