Wednesday 14 November 2012

Premier League Enterprise Challenge final previews

Students give their views on how the education and business initiative has helped them

  • Aylsham High, Alexandra College and Highlands School came through the first semi-final

  • Archbishop Beck, West Hill School and St Michael's complete the final line-up

Students representing six clubs across the country will display their entrepreneurial skills in the final of the Premier League Enterprise Challenge in London next Tuesday.

Schools representing Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur will do battle at the Westminster Conference Centre for the honour of becoming the 2012 Enterprise Challenge winners. The six teams emerged after stiff competition where more than 3,000 students took part at the beginning.

To find out about the schools taking part and their views of the Challenge final, click on the links below:

Aylsham High School (Norwich City) >>

St Michael's RC School (Middlesbrough) >>

Highlands School (Tottenham Hotspur) >>

West Hill School (Manchester City) >>

Archbishop Beck Catholic High School (Liverpool) >>

Alexandra College of Enterprise (West Bromwich Albion) >>

The teams, made up of pupils from Years 9-11, have prepared business plans and presentations which meet the brief set by Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore. This year they are focused on improving the match-day experience for supporters.

Over the last couple of months the teams have brainstormed, conducted research, met club officials and calculated costs and possible revenues for their proposals.

After coming through two keenly fought semi-finals at the stadiums of Newcastle United and Aston Villa, the teams will deliver their pitches and ideas to a panel of judges and in front of special guests at the Westminster Conference Centre. They will pitch for a maximum of eight minutes to a 'Dragons’ Den'- style judging panel, with a further three minutes set aside for the judges to quiz the students on their ideas.

The judges come from a broad cross section of industry and will be headed by the Premier League’s Planning and Projects Director Peta Bistany. The other members of the panel will be: Adam Jackson, Director of Small Business at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills; Sarah Ebner, who is the editor of the School Gate for The Times; Nicholas Reynolds, senior principal and a director of the London office of Populous; and Carly Ward, founder of the Young Entrepreneur Society.

As well as the experience of taking part in the final, the students will also get the opportunity to tour the House of Commons where they will meet their local MPs.

Jonathan Reynolds MP paid a special visit to West Hill School in Stalybridge last week and he said he was impressed with what the Challenge offers the youngsters.

"Their project extends beyond the traditional curriculum and it clearly enables pupils to develop confidence, presentation skills and the ability to work well as a team, which will not only help them in school – but outside, too," he said. "The competition has provided them with an exciting opportunity and I am pleased that they have taken full advantage of this valuable experience."

The event, held at the home of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, takes place at the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week (12-18 November).

There will be a host of dignitaries in attendance, including former Tottenham Hotspur defender and now club ambassador Ledley King, who will take part in a question-and-answer session, Scudamore and Michael Fallon MP, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise.

The inaugural Enterprise Challenge was held in 2009 and was won by Everton, with Tottenham Hotspur taking the title in 2010 and Blackpool winning last year.

The Challenge aims to encourage and develop a variety of business skills including problem-solving, creativity, innovation, team-work and enterprise. Each of the 21 football clubs with a Premier League Enterprise Academy are invited to take part, with the clubs holding their own competition involving local schools.

The winning school goes on to represent the club at the national semi-finals, which were held last month. Three teams were selected from each semi-final.

In addition to the trophy, the winning pupils will be rewarded with a trip back to London for a day of enterprise activity. They will have the honour of opening the London Stock Exchange before visiting the Premier League offices for a Q&A session with Scudamore on what it’s like to run the most-watched football league in the world.

If you are interested in taking part in the Premier League Enterprise Academy and the Enterprise Challenge, please contact Sophie Hukin via e-mail: sophie@hukin.co.uk.

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Key Points

  • The 2012 Premier League Enterprise Challenge final takes place on Tuesday
  • Six schools from around the country are taking part
  • We have spoken to the students to find out what they think of the competition