Three of our enthusiastic and ambitious Year 9 teams have won highly commended awards for developing and running their businesses so far in the ‘BiG Challenge 10’. The BiG Challenge is an enterprise competition open to all Sheffield schools and colleges, with participants aged from 11 to 19. Students receive a starting fund of £25 per business; the goal is to increase this amount by as much as possible through teamwork, innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Flying Start awards were for teams that had made a promising start. We had two teams highly commended – 'The Letter Studio' team, of Harriet Bland, Alia Fitton and Leah Young, who produce customised pieces of artwork based upon scrabble letters, and ‘For Heavens Cakes’ team of Chelsea Gaspar. This took place at The Workstation in December.

The Media and Marketing Awards were for teams that had produced effective media and marketing campaigns. We again had two teams highly commended – ‘The Letter Studio’ once again, and ‘Oh my Tee’ who are Catherine Cooney and Isobel Edwards and who produce bespoke T-Shirts. This took place at DLA Piper in January.

The teams won £25 as part of their prize, and will go on to see how many awards they can achieve and how much more profit they can make by the end of the Challenge!  Though each team requires supervision by a member of staff, the running of the small business is largely left to the students, greatly developing their independence and problem solving skills.

Leah, Harriet and Alia said, “We’re glad to be given the opportunity to experience owning a business, and because of the BiG Challenge we’re considering going into a business career in the future.”

Mr Coote, who is running the challenge this year, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity to develop enterprising skills at a young age.”