East Northamptonshire Council in partnership with Community Voluntary Service Broxbourne and East Herts (CVSBEH) invited primary schools across the district to take part in Junior Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge, a pilot business competition.
The six-week challenge offered a springboard into the world of business for year five students. Teams were tasked with investing £50 into a new business and to turn the investment into as much profit as possible for their chosen charity.
The challenge saw teams of entrepreneurs from three local schools – Oundle CE Primary School, Titchmarsh CE Primary School and Whitefriars Primary School develop their business ideas and create a product or service to sell within their school or community.
The competition concluded with the schools presenting their business experience to a panel of SuperDragons including Councillor Colin Wright, local business man and Manging Director of the WTY Group Lee Wilkes, and Dawn Cummins, Chief Executive of the local voluntary infrastructure organisation Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire.
A whole host of awards were up for grabs with the ‘Overall Winner’ being awarded to Titchmarsh CE Primary School and the ‘Courageous Owls’ business. Youngsters created bags to showcase the village of Titchmarsh which they sold along with home-made cakes and plants outside of the Village Shop, who were their chosen charity.
The success of the group saw them raise over £400 for the shop and pick up the award for the ‘Most Money Raised’. The school scooped a further three awards ‘Most Innovative Business Idea’, ‘Best Partnership with Dragon’ and ‘Best Presentation’.
Whitefriars Primary School’s ‘Business Bees’ won the award for the ‘Best Partnership with Community Group/Charity’. Pupils sold handmade bookmarks, and carried out a school car wash, helped raise funds for the Rushden Night Shelter and they showcased in their presentation to the judges the importance of their chosen charity. The school also won two more awards for ‘Best Poster’ and ‘Outstanding Individual Achievement’, which was presented to 10-year old Marty Dangerfield for his hard work throughout the challenge.
‘Super Wash’ from Oundle CE Primary School picked up the last award for ‘Best Teamwork’. Their business held a very successful car wash raising money for Volunteer Action Oundle and pupils were presented with this award for creating a short video presentation at the last minute, which was a real testament of teamwork for the smallest competing team.
The challenge proved to be very successful with the schools, whose students reported that they loved the experience and gained valuable new skills and confidence. They also learnt an awful lot about running a business and the importance of teamwork.
Councillor Colin Wright, said: “The Junior Dragon’s Apprentice Challenge provided young people from across the district with the opportunity to use their creativity and imagination to create successful businesses and raise money for fantastic local charitable causes. All of the pupils demonstrated innovation and worked together to win a number of brilliant awards.”