Young Business Minds
Young Business Minds™
Young Business Minds™ is an exciting competition, conceived and sponsored by The Marketing Eye, to provide Year 12 students with an insight into the business world.
The competition gives students practical experience of:
- Developing a business proposition
- Considering and managing the range of requirements needed to start and run a successful business
- Acting in an economically responsible manner
- Learning to meet deadlines and the importance of attention to detail
- Presenting to leading local business people in a ‘pitch' scenario and improving confidence and presentation skills.
With the Government's commitment to enterprise under the 'Start Up Britain' banner, there can be no better or more important time for The Marketing Eye to be sponsoring this initiative.
Colleges that have taken part:
- Uckfield Community Technical College
- Uplands Community College, Wadhurst
- Heathfield Community College
- Ringmer Community College
- Tonbridge School
- Beacon Academy, Crowborough
- South Downs College, Eastbourne
The students form themselves into teams of four and appoint roles and responsibilities. These are typically:
- Managing Director - The project manager/team leader
- Marketing Director - In charge of advertising, marketing and PR
- Finance Director - Responsible for budgeting - predicted revenue/costs etc
- Operations Director - Responsible for the organisational and logistical aspects of the business
The teams need to agree on a product or service idea and develop their business plan inside 20 hours of lessons. The plan needs to be documented into a written report and then pitched to a panel made up of local business people.
Unlike Young Enterprise, the students don't have to implement their ideas, leaving them free to stretch their imaginations. Their business plans do, however, have to be credible, meaning that a plan for a High Street retail business can have as much chance of winning as a concept for the next Facebook.
The plan needs to include:
- A description of the idea and how it will work
- Market Research to prove demand for the idea
- A breakdown of start-up costs
- Profit projections, including sales, gross profit and operating costs
- A cash-flow forecast for the first 12 months
- A marketing plan for the first 12 months
In their report and during the pitch presentation, the teams have to substantiate why they have decided on their business idea and how they would make it successful. This is based on their market research, marketing plan and profit projections.
During the competition, The Marketing Eye is on hand to lend support via designated sessions with a team ‘mentor' and with hints and tips on its Facebook page.
The schools select two teams each to send through to the final.
The finalists are required to pitch to a panel of local business people in a ‘Dragons' Den' type format. Unlike Dragons' Den, however, the panel is there to help the students deliver the best presentation they can and provides constructive feedback throughout the session.
The teams are marked across a range of criteria covering the quality of the business plan and the quality of the presentation. The highest overall mark is declared the winner.
The panel is made up of local business people who give up their time free of charge and have experience covering law, accountancy, manufacturing, retail and marketing.
Prize giving and prizes
The results are announced at a tension filled prize-giving ceremony during which the finalists are reduced to a top four and then the runners-up and winners are revealed. All participants and their course leaders are invited.
The winning team is awarded a trophy for their school and a £150 cash prize. The runners-up receive a runners-up trophy and a £50 cash prize. All finalists receive structured feedback on their business plans and presentations in a written document.
Every pupil who successfully participates in the competition receives a certificate which provides evidence of their activities and can be used for job and university application purposes.
The biggest prize of all is, of course, the experience the students will have gained to enhance personal statements for CVs and university applications.
For further information about the programme or to register your school or colleges interest in becoming involved in 2016, please contact: Neil Edwards, Managing Director, either via email or on 01825 765617
Media Enquiries should be directed to:Emily Benton- Marketing Executive by email or on 01825 765617