Monthly Archives: May 2013

Weekly Theme 8: The ‘Enterprising Student’ Award

We believe in rewarding those students who go the extra mile to make their school-based enterprise a success. So, if you think you are the next Richard Branson, Indra Nooyi, Donald Trump or Madame Walker then the Enterprising Student Award is for you.

The Commonwealth School Enterprise Challenge rewards the most enterprising students with an internationally recognised award, as well as laptops and cameras.

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To be in with a chance of scooping these great prizes, students need to demonstrate the following entrepreneurial qualities:

Commitment and Perseverance – Students must be committed to their school’s enterprise and show dedication in making it a success. Our winner this year, Lovelesh Garg, used his spare time to visit a candle making factory to learn the techniques of candle making to take back to his school’s enterprise and make it successful.

Adaptability and problem-solving ability – All enterprises run into problems and students must show innovation in solving these problems and adapting their enterprise. One of our runners up, Diana Clavery, showed quick thinking when the water source for their seedling enterprise had unexpectedly run out. It was only through her problem solving that they managed to acquire more water to save the seedlings.

Leadership – Leadership is one of the key qualities of an entrepreneur. Our other runner up, Uday Choudhary, led his enterprise from the beginning, starting every day with a plan of action for that day and ensuring that it was all carried out.

Enthusiasm and energy – The most enterprising students have limitless enthusiasm for their enterprise, and endless amounts of energy to devote to it, something shown in abundance by our three prize winners this year.

‘Enterprising Student’ Winners:

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The 2012 ‘Enterprising Student’ Award winner Lovelesh Garg was a key member of the candle making business, Gurukul’s Grandeur, launched in Gurukul School in India. The enterprise manufactured environmentally friendly candles, using neem for mosquito repelling candles and natural herbs and spices to add aroma.

To read more about him and our two runners up, take a look at their profiles on our website: http://www.schoolenterprisechallenge.org/esp

To be in for a chance of winning you must:

  1. Attend an educational institution that has participated in the entirety of the competition for at least one year (i.e. submitted a business plan AND a narrative report).
  2. Ask one of your teachers to complete an Enterprising Student Nomination form for you and submit it by December 31st 2013. The will be available from late November 2013
  3. The winners will be announced in March 2014

You can still register for the School Enterprise Challenge on our website, and don’t forget to ‘Like’ our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter

Weekly Theme 7: Business Development Top Tips

This weeks School Enterprise Challenge Theme is ‘Business Development’. Business development is a crucial part of any long-term business plan. It means looking at your business, reflecting on what you are doing right (and wrong) and what you can do to improve.

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The $2000 ‘Business Development’ Prize is the School Enterprise Challenge’s way to reward outstanding business development. The prize goes to the school who have continued their business for a second year and expanded, improved or developed their business most effectively.

Here are a few things you should ask yourself when thinking about business development…

1.     Your Business

Are you growing your business? Can you physically produce more, promote your enterprise through events or cooperate with local businesses to reach more customers? Can you diversify? This means adding a new product or service – this could something similar to your current products, or something that your customers have requested.

 2.     Your Team

Think about what skills your team has, and what skills they need to make your business more successful. Are they motivated? You can think of ways to increase motivation, like rewarding success, spreading the benefits of the competition and doing teambuilding exercises.

 3.     Your Market

It might be time to take another look at your market. Customer surveys are a great way to find out what you customers think of your product or service, what you could improve and what would make them buy more

4.     Your Competitors

You should also find out about your competitors – who are they, and have they changed in the past year? Do you have new competitors in your area? What are their strengths, and weaknesses, and how can you make your business better than theirs?

5.     Marketing and Sales Plan

Business development is all about increasing your sales – you can do this with a marketing and sales plan. Can you make your product for a cheaper cost? Are you selling it in the right place, at the right time? Are you promoting your product effectively? Answering these questions and finding out how to improve are key to a successful marketing and sales plan.

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Hopefully this should give you some ideas about where to start when it comes to business development – stay tuned for part 2 of this weeks theme, where we show you some inspirational examples of School Enterprise Challenge competitors who have successfully developed their businesses!

If you haven’t registered for the School Enterprise Challenge yet, then you can do so here: www.schoolenterprisechallenge.org

You can also catch up with us on our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter @SchEnterprise

Weekly Theme 6: Regions

One of the great things about the School Enterprise Challenge is that it takes place worldwide – our schools come from across the globe, and their enterprises have different features and flavours depending on the region that they come from!

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This is part of what makes each entry special and unique. Many enterprises use regional produce & resources, as well as exploiting local markets. You can also be more effective social entrepreneurs by focusing on a particular problem that affects your region!

Here are a few examples of enterprises who made the most of their region…

Regional Resources

There is plenty of potential for schools to use region specific resources to make products that couldn’t be made elsewhere.

RococoEscuela Concertada Solaris School in Peru, for example, grew Rococo Chilli plants to make jams and pickle. Rococo chilli is a type of traditional Peruvian spicy pepper that is very popular in Peru and used widely in cooking. It isn’t found in other parts of the world, so by using it Escuela Concertada’s business set itself apart from other school enterprises!

Regional Markets                            

Some schools created products which appealed to their regional markets. In India for example,  hand-rolled incense sticks called Agarbatti are extremely popular and widely used for medicinal, religious and decorative purposes.

Agarbatti 2After conducting market research, Vidyadhiraja High School in Dehli, India, recognised that there was a big market for affordable incense sticks in their region. Students at Vidyadhiraja based their business around providing poorer people in their communities with these incense sticks at a price they could afford – they identified a regional market and made the most of it!

Regional Issues

bee 2Small enterprises can also tackle serious issues which effect communities in their region. Children’s Sure House are a great example of this. Their region of Uganda is badly affected by HIV/AIDS, so they decided to use some of the honey from their beekeeping enterprise to help make syrups and ointments for HIV/AIDS relieving medicines.

This is a great example of an enterprise that really responds to a hugely important regional issue – social entrepreneurship at its best.

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If you can think of a resource, market or issue that is specific to your region then you might want to consider how your enterprise can make the most of it. These are just 3 examples – there is a whole world out there and the possibilities are endless! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

If you haven’t registered for the School Enterprise Challenge yet, then you can do so here:  http://www.schoolenterprisechallenge.org/

You can also catch up with us on our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter @SchEnterprise