Written by Steph Moore, CSW Group Services to Education Manager

Over the past 12 months CSW Group have delivered a number of Enterprise Days throughout the South West to year groups ranging from year 7 through to 10. These have all been very well received, with schools booking again where possible.

The most popular event we have delivered is the Apprentice Challenge where students have to choose a product from 6 items and then design a company to market and sell the product. They must develop a pitch and present this in the style of Dragons Den in front of the judges which are made up of Business Mentors and the Teachers.

This is an amazing activity and really challenges the students with their team working, communication and confidence skills. The events that I have been part of have been amazing and I’ve seen pitches that have been done as a rap, a song, and a dance.

I’ve seen prototypes of the products made from many different materials, you would be surprised as to quite how ingenious some students can be, and this is the attraction of the events, each school and each student are all very different in how they react to the event and so you get a huge range of ideas and questions throughout the day.

The recent lovely weather has also had an impact on the events – at an Enterprise day at Danesfield school we took over the sports field for a few hours so that everyone could practice their pitches outside and it was absolutely brilliant watching all the groups practice and to see how competitive they all became.

Schools can choose from a range of different activities called Passport to Enterprise, and these can be tailored around their requirements.

We invite Business Mentors who are industry professionals, to support the events and they help the students by providing guidance and most importantly encourage their ideas and creativity. This helps the students discover their own skills and abilities as well as experience new career paths and opportunities.

The events give them exposure to finance, marketing, having to create a budget and use social media to promote their product and the students find this a hands-on engaging learning experience.

We recently delivered the Property Challenge Enterprise Day at Brixham College and this was a fantastic event judged by CEO of Cavanna Homes, Martin Cavanna. The activity was to pitch a tender for a housing development. The students had to design the layout of the estate and the properties as well as including social housing in the development after setting up their own company, allocating job titles and roles and then starting to design the build of the estate. The winning group was then offered the opportunity to have their estate printed out in a 3D design as well as winning prizes from CSW and Martin Cavanna.

Falmouth School took part in the Apprentice Challenge and this was supported by 11 different Business Mentors of which 4 of them were ex-pupils which was fantastic. The feedback that I received from the Mentors was that they all wished they had things like this when they were at school. The business mentors shared information about their roles and the industry they worked in, and the ex-students really helped the students see what could be achieved and the different areas they could move into. Many of the teachers who were there to support the event also commented on how surprised they were at how much the students embraced the day and met all the challenges head on.

If you’d like to find out more about Enterprise Days or if you would like to book the activity for your school contact Steph on steph.moore@cswgroup.co.uk.