From vegan clothing to gourmet burgers – Northamptonshire school pupils pitched their big ideas

Date 27.11.2019

Students from two Northamptonshire schools, Rushden Academy and The Ferrers School, pitched their big business ideas to a panel of experts at the University of Northampton, battling it out to win a prize.

These budding entrepreneurs, all aged between 13 and 15 years old, have spent the last few weeks getting top tips from the academic team in the Faculty of Business and Law to develop their business ideas. Thanks to the input from the academic tutors, the students got expert advice on market research, developing their unique selling point, business planning, marketing and how best to use digital technology to drive their business plans, before working on their pitch to present on campus.

The stakes were high as the pupils visited the University of Northampton’s Waterside Campus, where they got a taster of what university life could be like if they decide to go to University in a few years’ time, as well as battling it out for the top prize of Amazon vouchers at the inaugural competition.

In the hotly contested event, the pupils were challenged to create a business pitch, website and marketing materials – with judges assessing the presentations on quality, depth of industry knowledge, creativity and innovation.

Dilshad Sarwar, Subject Group Leader: Business Systems & Operations: “This Digital Business event has been a great way for these budding entrepreneurs to learn first-hand about creating a business. I’ve been very impressed with the ideas pitched to us today, the pupils have brought lots of enthusiasm to their experience on campus.

“It was very difficult to pick just one winner from such enthusiastic teams from both schools, but the panel of experts were really impressed with the vegan clothing line presented by the team from Rusden Academy.  The Aero Inc idea from The Ferrers School developed a business designed to bridge the gap between small designers and engineers, and the aeronautical industry, supporting SMEs to take their original aerospace designs to market leaders.

“We judged the pupils’ presentations and asked them question using University level assessment criteria, I’m delighted to say that everyone gave us really good answers and really thought about their projects.”

Fifteen-year-old, Jessica Jones, from Rushden Academy said: “I’ve really enjoyed being part of the Digital Business project, it’s been fun to try out my business planning, it’s really made us think about the different elements to starting a business. The best bit has been learning like you would at University. I would be really interested to find out more about going to uni.”

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