Team Bonita wins the Year 9 Enterprise Challenge

The traditional three-day Enterprise Challenge for Year 9 took place from 30 April to 2 May, and again it was a busy but fun event with lots of learning and essential employability skills being developed.

The year group was divided into ten companies, which were initially given just a symbol to identify them, with the company teams tasked to build their enterprise up from there, from company name to product development and branding, financial planning, marketing, sales and reporting.

As last year, the product was the luscious bath bomb, and we were fortunate to again have Matt Bradbrook from Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics and Jemma Cannon from Enchanted Plants to adjudicate, as well as the Young Enterprise team and a host of other volunteers – many notably JP Morgan’s Apprentices – giving pupils insights to real examples from their own companies, and advising and coaching the student companies.

The first day consisted of briefings about the product and the task at hand, assigning roles – Managing Director, Finance, Administration, Operations, Marketing & Sales – within company teams, developing their company and product branding, product and market research, and of course developing the actual product and concepts for packaging, websites and marketing. At the end of day one, the Sales and Marketing Directors of each company made Dragons’ Den style pitches to a panel of volunteers, who gave them some valuable feedback and posed questions to help the teams to focus their business plans.

The second day centred on operational matters: Finance teams were engaged with the bank, suppliers and creditors working on budgets, company reports, forecasting and inventory; Marketing departments were abuzz with designing ads, booking advertising space, creating company T-shirts, planning trade stands, building websites and social media presence; while Operations were manufacturing the bath bombs and packaging for them.

The final day, Wednesday, was dedicated to setting up and finalising the trade stands, selling the bath bombs to other Clayesmorians and Staff, and culminated in the presentations to the judges, volunteers, staff members and the other contestants.

The overall aim of the Enterprise Challenge was to develop pupils’ employability skills: communication, confidence, problem solving, initiative, organisation, financial capability, resilience and teamwork, and the Year 9 companies demonstrated these capabilities brilliantly.

The businesses, from their names to their product ideas, were highly inventive:
Estrella (with the Bodywise Bath Bomb)
Récoup de Luxe

A sign of the times, perhaps, that many of the companies had chosen to make their products gender-neutral, to appeal to the widest possible audience. Some however, like Emoji Bath Bombs, had opted for a clearly defined target audience – children – with the higher order benefit of making bath time fun. Several companies had also taken note of the trend for no plastics and were careful to emphasise that their bath bombs contained no micro-beads and their packaging was free of plastics.

Ultimately, there can only be one winner, and this year it was Bonita and their brand essence of “working with Mother Nature to create luxurious, eco-friendly sensations”.  Well done to Jack A, Eleanore C, Chloe H, Ben H, Ben R, Dominic S, Bertie S and Oliver W.

Another notable commendation was awarded to Ella B from the Sales & Marketing team of Bomba for being the person “most likely to win The Apprentice”.