The Enterprise Programme:
Here at Blackpool FC Community Trust we are proud to offer our bespoke Enterprise Programme to all our local high schools and some of our alternative education provisions. Delivery is focused on Y8 pupils (12-13yrs) and its primary focus is to tap into pupils entrepreneurship skills. Delivered by the Community Trust High School Hubs officers, the programme engages, inspires, and unlocks potential in pupils by introducing them to business, developing essential enterprise and employability skills and supporting young people on their education and career pathways.
Pupils on the programme take part in the ‘Enterprise Challenge’. Set by our funders and sponsors, Beaverbrooks, the challenge tasks young people to identify a gap in the local market that will attract 11-18 year olds into Blackpool. Pupils must take into account their businesses location, overheads, prices, promotions, advertising and finally why their business is unique and attractive to those they are targeting. Once pupils have developed their idea within their Enterprise sessions they present this to their classmates who vote on the idea they like the most. The winners from each group are then put forward to represent their school at the ‘Enterprise Challenge Final’ held at Blackpool FC Stadium.
On Tuesday 12th July 2022 we held our Beaverbrooks Enterprise Challenge. Winning entries were invited to the Stadium to present their business plan to a panel of guest judges. Judges included Caroline Knowles, Beaverbrooks, Store Manager (Blackpool branch), Kate Shane, CEO of Merlin Entertainments Blackpool, and Craig Allison programme lead for Secondary Education here at the Community Trust.
Schools arrived early to the Stadium and after a welcome speech, were provided a period of time to finalise their presentations and pitches. Soon the time came for each group to enter the presenting room and pitch their business idea to the panel of judges. Each group were given a 10 minute time slot to present their idea and open the floor for questions. After all eight groups had presented to the panel, the overwhelming consensus from the judges was how amazed they were with the confidence, passion and knowledge on show. Pupils had come up with well thought out business plans which were engaging, well presented and most importantly wanted by the young people of Blackpool.
Impressed with their efforts, Kate Shane (CEO of Merlin Entertainments, Blackpool) said,
“I’m really proud of all the pupils who took part. This is my first time judging on the panel and I was overwhelmed by the creativity and passion shown by the young people”.
Pupils were applauded further for their efforts with Caroline Knowles from Beaverbrooks (Store Manager), noting,
“It was great to see pupils considering social issues in their business plans. They were taking into account the importance of having good mental and physical health, these things are important issues currently for teenagers and the wider society.”
Once pupils had completed their presentations they were given the opportunity to have a stadium tour, visiting the home dressing room and learning lots of interesting facts about different parts of the ground.
Pupils were clearly proud of their presenting efforts with one pupil stating,
“I was a little bit nervous but the judges made me feel comfortable and I’m glad I did it”.
After a long and heated debate in the boardroom the Judges crowned pupils from Armfield Academy the winners of the 2022 Beaverbrooks Enterprise Challenge Final and were blown away with their ‘Teen Splash’ idea, a new indoor swimming pool based in the centre of town specifically designed for teenagers to use and enjoy. Second place went to pupils from St Georges Academy who wanted to open a gaming café with third place going to St Marys Catholic Academy pupils with their ‘armed forces pathway’ providing activities and positive social experiences for teens across the town.
As schools began to leave there was lots of complimentary feedback about the programme and the day, with one teacher from Aspire Academy commenting,
“a great day, thank you so much for inviting us, the pupils loved it and the prizes were brilliant”.
What happens next?:
The winners from Armfield Academy are invited back to the Stadium for a match day hospitality experience where they will be joined by staff from the Community Trust and Beaverbrooks when the 2022/23 season begins. They will also be presented with their prize from Beaverbrooks. Second and third placed finalists received complimentary Merlin Entertainment tickets and Blackpool FC merchandise.
Craig, Secondary Education Manager said,
“I would like to thank everyone who took part to make it a truly memorable day for the pupils. To our wonderful delivery staff, Hazel and Tom, teaching staff for engaging with the programme, Beaverbrooks for funding and supporting the programme, Merlin Entertainments for providing expertise and knowledge on the judging panel and last but not least the amazing pupils who were the shining stars of the event.”
See you all next year for another brilliant programme.