Students banking on success in national skills challenge

Budding entrepreneurs have been put through their paces at South Leicestershire College as part of a national competition to find the best new business ideas.

Around 100 business students took part in a regional heat of the National Skills Challenge, a scheme backed by NatWest bank to help develop entrepreneurial skills in young people.

Students worked in small groups of three to pitch new business concepts to the experts and two teams of students on Public Services and Business programmes were successfully named as the winners.

Business students Georgia Bailey, Tia Rowe and Iqra Vindhani devised the concept of a fast food van selling healthy food that was quick and easy to produce with a competitive pricing strategy.

Public Services students Atia Sheikh, Joanna Docchar and Amber Mayes developed the idea of letting out the College’s multi-faith room for community networking events, as well as offering treatments in the hairdressing and beauty therapy salons.

Judges were so impressed with their performance, they could not decide on an overall winner so both teams were put forward for the opportunity to represent the College at the national finals on 24 April 2018, at NatWest’s headquarters in London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured: the Business Team.

The students were set the challenge of coming up with their own creative and innovative business ideas based only on the resources available at the College. To help get the creative juices flowing, students were guided by experienced mentors and set tasks including mind-mapping exercises, ways to define their target market and principles of effective marketing.  

The project brief was designed by NatWest to provide skills support to young people and give them the opportunity to learn through real business experience.

The best eight groups from the challenge were required to present their plans to a panel of experts. The winning teams were selected based on their teamwork during their day and the quality of their business plans.

The winners will be amongst 50 teams competing for success at the finals in London this April. Overall winners of the national competition will secure a week-long, all expenses-paid internship at the NatWest headquarters.

Simon Dyer from competition organisers, The Inspirational Learning group said, “All the students adapted extremely well to the challenge and the fast-paced style of the project.

“The students were pushed outside of their comfort zone but they all pulled together and generated some fantastic ideas that were powerful and persuasive. The skills they have gained through the competition will help them when they join the world of work.”

Picured: The Public Services Team