Aspiring entrepreneurs from a secondary school in Derby pitched their ideas to leading companies in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style format, as they took part in a company day aimed at raising aspirations.
Chellaston Academy welcomed employees from Belper, Derbyshire Constabulary-based chemicals company Lubrizol, an award-winning marketing company macmartinsuccessful covid start-up Colleague box and direct cozy; a Tutbury-based organization that sells ethical play equipment to nurseries and councils.
Organized by E4E – a Derby City Council careers initiative set up in 2014 which offers CV workshops for schoolchildren and mock interviews – 7th graders were divided into small groups and placed with representatives of participating companies.
They had to design a business plan for their product or service and come up with a presentation that was delivered at the end of the day. The presentation had to include details on how they would finance their product, a marketing plan and a poster campaign. They were also commissioned to create a logo and slogan.
Peter Else, CEO of direct cozy, who were recently at Buckingham Palace to receive their Queen’s Award for Enterprise, said: “It’s so positive to see all these budding young entrepreneurs at one of our municipal schools. They were full of ideas and could turn a successful business plan into a snap.
“The way they all used technology to create campaigns was fantastic. I really enjoyed giving back to the community.
Natalie Bamford, who started a personalized gift box business Colleague box with her husband Adam during the pandemic, making £1.3million in business in just five months, said: “The students were polite, bright and curious. It was a pleasure to visit Chellaston Academy and to see how engaged the students are in the activity.
This was the last activity organized by E4E this school year and Principal Arshad Iqbal is busy planning other events for the start of the school year in September.
He said: “E4E always has great support from local employers and it was good to see a variety of global organizations and successful Derby-based entrepreneurs volunteering at Chellaston Academy.
“We were also delighted to welcome many new volunteers. Organizing events like Enterprise Challenge Day is always exciting and we have so many great activities planned for high schools starting in September.
“Through our strong partnerships with local employers and schools, we are fortunate to be able to work alongside and impact thousands of young people every year.
“It is clear from what we have seen at chelston that there are extremely talented young people in Derby with great business ideas.
“Seeing guys like Project D and beauty company Barba, whose founder Sam Lowe was a Chellaston Academy alumnus, succeed with their businesses is so inspiring to these young people.”
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