Students impress judges with their enterprising ideas

Students from County High School with councillor Glossop, staff and Suzanne Banks and Alex Till from Menta.

Students across several Suffolk Secondary Schools took on The Enterprise Challenge during the Spring term to showcase their business ideas.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils and West Suffolk Council worked in collaboration with Menta to deliver the pilot programme.

Open to students in Years 9 to 11, who could take part individually or in teams of up to four people, the challenge was designed to develop enterprise skills in young people in Suffolk. The students explored the possibility of setting up their own business, building their confidence by developing presentations, planning and teamwork skills.

Students were supported by mentors from local businesses and the district council Economic Development teams. The students had total creative control over the content and presentation of their final enterprise idea.

Ideas ranged from innovative clothing and new apps to specialist foods and new musical instruments and more.

The judges were representatives from district councils and Menta who provided constructive feedback to the students around what impressed them and what areas they might want to consider adding or elaborating on.

All the teams came up with and presented exceptional ideas, but it was County High School, in Bury St Edmunds, that claimed the title of overall cross-district winner with their brilliant concept.

A small grant was given to participating schools to use towards careers support for students, in recognition of their contribution to the programme.

Susan Glossop, cabinet member for Growth at West Suffolk Council, said: “I was very impressed with the quality of work submitted by all the schools taking part and I am delighted that County High were the overall winners. By supporting initiatives like the Enterprise Challenge we enable students to develop their creative thinking and problem-solving skills in a practical setting. Encouraging young people to think about their careers, plus the life and business skills they need to achieve their ambitions help shape a resilient future workforce.”

John Ward, leader and cabinet member for Economic Growth at Babergh District Council, said: “Well done to all the teams taking part in the first Enterprise Challenge. This initiative was developed to get students thinking about business ideas as well as building their skills and confidence which they can use in the future.”

And Harry Richardson, deputy leader and cabinet member for Economic Growth at Mid Suffolk Council, added: “All the judges were really impressed with the creative business ideas the students came up with. The Enterprise Challenge pilot has provided students with a unique opportunity to try something new and gain new experiences.”

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