Being a judge at the Primary School Enterprise Challenge last December was such a brilliant experience that when I was asked to return it was an immediate ‘Yes’ from me!
The guys at Primary School Enterprise go into schools and work with the children on real-life business challenges. According to PSE this helps the children to “develop the enterprise and employability skills of all the young learners who take part, including sharing ideas, aiming high, listening carefully, leadership, creativity, problem-solving and presentation.”
The challenge is open to primary school children in years 3, 4, 5 and 6 all across Yorkshire, so there is a real variety of ages and abilities.
I arrived at Tankersley Manor on the morning of 18 June 2018, met my fellow judges over a cup of tea and we were briefed about the days proceedings. Meanwhile downstairs children from all over Yorkshire were congregating ready to present their pitches.
The children had been tasked with designing and marketing a music frame product which children like themselves could make music with in the playground, and could be sold to other schools.
Throughout the morning the groups of children nervously entered the judging room armed with logo designs, pictures of their product concepts, their ideal customer and information on where they would promote and sell their products etc. One team even wrote a rap about their product!
After each team completed their presentation the judges asked questions about the products, how it was developed and how they worked together etc. As you can imagine, one of my favourite parts was seeing their graphic design skills as they presented their logos and also how they planned to market their products. I was very impressed that some teams even had branded t-shirts!
After we had seen all of the teams we totted up our scores and reconvened over chip butties to work out who had won the various awards. After lunch we met in the main hall and the children did a dance that they had learnt throughout the morning in-between the presentations. They accomplished an awful lot throughout the day!
Some of the judges took part in a Q&A session answering questions from the children which was great. Following that where the official photographs and then the all-important awards ceremony! I was pleased to be able to go on stage with a golden envelope and announce that this team (below) called the Salty Shakers had won one of the Enterprise Awards!
On a personal level I enjoyed being a small part in helping the children learn about business, encouraging them to fulfil their potential and follow their dreams. It was great hearing their ideas and opinions – they show so much passion! I have high hopes for them in the future – they are a real inspiration to us grown-ups!