The J4 Young Enterprise ‘Our Business’ competition concluded with a group presentation to a panel of four judges made up of experts in various fields. The judges were Ben Hackett (Operations Director), Chris Wade (Venture Capitalist for Entrepreneurs), Vanessa Ovington (MCS Marketing Director), Cassandra Cardiff (Area Manager, Young Enterprise Oxfordshire).

The J4 pupils spent the Michaelmas Term working in six teams of six or seven boys to develop a unique business. Each pupil had a role in the business: Sales, Finance, Marketing, Events, Market Research, or Production Manager. They decided on their own company name, logo and slogan. They carried out market research to test out their ideas for products and identify their target market for the planned sales event. Each business ran a marketing campaign including posters and press releases to promote their business and products. They each produced a variety of handmade products to sell at their individual sales stands at the MCS Christmas Fair. Each business had to work within a budget and decide upon their pricing and sales strategy to run a successful business with the aim of making a profit. Profits went to the School Parents’ Association.

The programme was hugely successful in terms of the value of the experience – working in teams with defined roles and responsibilities. They discovered different strengths and developed their teamwork. The judges were very impressed with the quality of their presentations and innovative ideas, as well as their enthusiasm and confidence. They felt that the whole process was exceptionally worthwhile, as each participant had gained experience of running a business in a safe environment. The judges were very impressed by the decision-making throughout the process and by the energy and creativity of each team.