Students excel at Business Enterprise Challenge presentation day | Cambridge United Community Trust

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Students excel at Business Enterprise Challenge presentation day

On Wednesday 4th we were delighted to welcome to the Abbey Stadium the 30 Year 8 students who took part in our inaugural Business Enterprise Challenge in partnership with Grant Thornton for the end-of-challenge presentation day.

They were representing their schools: Comberton Village College, Melbourn Village College and St Peter’s School, Huntington. The event marked the end of this year’s challenge as the 3 teams presented how they approached the project, the tactics they used and what they had learnt to the other two teams.

They were also presenting to a panel of judges: Ben Strang, Cambridge United FC’s Head of Football; Henry Comfort, Cambridge United FC’s Chief Operating Officer; Ben Szreter, Cambridge United Community Trust CEO and Sam Charman, a member of Grant Thornton's corporate finance team.

All three schools had prepared thoroughly for their presentation and the panel were extremely impressed not only with their presentations but their ability to think on their feet and answer questions posed to them.

Henry Comfort, Chief Operating Officer of Cambridge United Football Club said: “This initiative has taught the students the basics of business studies in a really practical way and gave Cambridge United the added bonus of bringing new fans along to the Abbey Stadium.”

Chris Warrington, Head of Business Education at Comberton Village College also spoke about the project saying: "The event enabled our students to develop their teamwork and entrepreneurial skills by working together to think creatively about how to market and sell match ticket to a target audience. They really enjoyed the challenge and were able to demonstrate good marketing skills whilst recognising the importance of working together as a team. The relationship with Cambridge United and its Community Trust provided them with a fantastic opportunity to practise their interests in a real life business context, whilst working alongside experienced business professionals. It was brilliant to see all of the student teams together, presenting their ideas and findings."

In the project, the students were given online discount codes for various Cambridge United home league matches which then were then used to track sales. The students marketed these codes within their school and the local community with all the profit from the project going to charity. The teams were helped through the process by mentors from Grant Thornton. Stuart Davies, Corporate Finance Associate Director said “we were delighted to have been involved in this project. The students clearly learned a lot by bringing real life commercial business skills into a fun environment.”

The winning team was the team to make the most amount of profit throughout the challenge. Despite an extremely close competition, eventually Melbourn Village College’s team came out on top with Comberton and St.Peter’s in joint second position.

Ben Szreter, CEO of Cambridge United Community Trust, said: “This challenge was designed to enable secondary school students to develop their entrepreneurial and employability skills in a real-life enterprise context. It was clear to us through their presentations and what they had to say about the project that the fundamentals of working as a team and the importance of communication were grasped. All the school groups did an excellent job and we look forward to developing the project further in the future.”

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