Twenty-three clubs took part in the fifth edition of the Premier League Enterprise Challenge, which tasks students, aged 14-19, with developing ideas to solve a real-life business scenario set by the Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore.
The budding entrepreneurs had been working on business plans, financial forecasts and presentations since the 2013/14 competition was launched in November at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.
The challenge, which this year focuses on trying to develop revenue streams from international markets – in particular Africa and the United States – and aims to engage ‘hard to reach’ students, culminates with an on-stage presentation to a panel of judges, who then quiz the teams on their proposals.
The Blackpool team consisting of Community Trust Futsal education students Joe Stockell, Clayton Jones, Ryan Waring-Mitchell and Connor Redman (left to right in picture below) was chosen to represent Blackpool FC Community Trust after a great presentation at Bloomfield Road in February.
The semi-finals of the 2013/14 Premier League Enterprise Challenge took place on 13th March at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, and clubs from the Premier League and Football League up and down the country had been working hard to present to the judges.
Robert Canniff, assistant director, enterprise and financial support at BIS, one of the three judges tasked with the difficult decision of choosing the three winners in the Northern semi-final, paid tribute to the quality of the presentations.
“I found lots of enthusiasm and interest as well as great competitive spirit,” Canniff said.
“The scheme is about teaching and young people picking up skills they will need for life whichever job they go into. They will have learnt so much about supporting each other, team work and speaking in front of a large group of people.
“The youngsters won’t forget the day. It shows them what they are capable of. I am sure many will be surprised by the skills and what they have learnt throughout the competition. This is a unique opportunity to reach thousands of youngsters who wouldn’t normally be interested in putting together a business proposition.”
Away from the competition, the youngsters enjoyed a tour of the stadium while they met Sunderland goalkeeper Kieran Westwood and winger Emanuele Giaccherini. The competitors also heard from first-team head coach Gus Poyet, who recorded a good-luck message for the event.
Although the Blackpool team presented flawlessly and their work was considered first class, unfortunately the journey for our lads stops here and they were not chosen to continue on to London for the final this year.
Head of Community, Ashley Hackett said, “We would like to congratulate our lads on the work that they have put in over the past months; they have made everyone proud and they were really great ambassadors for the Club and the Community Trust. We wish all taking part in the final the best of luck.”