ASPIRING young business minds from West Berkshire schools battled it out for the title of Champions of Enterprise 2016 at the Regency Park Hotel, Thatcham, last week.
Throughout the autumn, more than 400 local sixth form students have taken part in the challenge organised by the Education Business Partnership West Berkshire and sponsored by Greenham Common Trust, with the grand final held on last Wednesday.
Teams from Trinity, St Bartholomew’s, Kennet, The Willink and Park House schools competed in the challenge in which they developed work-related skills by becoming consultants for the day for three real West Berkshire companies.
Gist Ltd, Waitrose Newbury and Environmental Solutions Waste Management presented challenges based on recruitment, strategy and sales and marketing.
Judges interviewed each team and then watched the students deliver their final presentations in front of an audience of local businesspeople, teachers, headteachers and parents.
The winning team was Danyal Khan, Rachel Lee-Morgan, Eddie James, Edward Harvey and Grace Ducros from The Willink School, Burghfield.
Judges said the team showed well-thought-out solutions to the challenge set by Waitrose, looking at what the public would want from the store in 2028.
Judge Jo Richie, from Vodafone, said: “The difference in this year’s contest was the fact the students had a real- life ‘business challenge’ to address, something that got their creative juices flowing and gave us the opportunity to see how innovative they were and how they translated their ideas into a formal presentation.”
Melanie Watt, from EBPWB, said: “Champions of Enterprise is a challenge that gives all students involved the opportunity to develop important work-related skills.
“The students rose to the challenge, and, supported by their business mentors, really delivered first-class work.
“Our thanks go to the three businesses who opened themselves up to scrutiny, Greenham Common Trust for sponsoring this programme, and the volunteers for giving up their time.
“Without this support these students would not develop such important skills that will be so useful to them in their working life.”