Market leaders in business challenge

GSAL students Sophie Wilson and Cara Balen with the Real Life Business Challenge team. (S)
GSAL students Sophie Wilson and Cara Balen with the Real Life Business Challenge team. (S)

Three year 10 students from the Wetherby area have helped their team to reach the business end of a national competition designed to nurture the skills of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.

The students, who attend The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL), produced a winning marketing campaign at the regional final of the Real Business Challenge, run by Coca Cola Enterprises Ltd (CCE) in partnership with the charity StreetGames.

The team, which includes students Cara Balen from Thorner, Sophie Wilson from East Keswick and Harry Street from Thorner, now progress to the national final in London on March 25, where they will compete against 10 other school teams from across the UK.

Cara Balen explained why she rose to the challenge: “I got involved because it sounded like a great opportunity to develop our team-working skills and business knowledge whilst getting some real hands on experience.”

During the regional final, held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, ten school teams from across Yorkshire had to devise a promotional campaign to increase awareness of a StreetGames multi-sport festival taking place this summer.

They only learned of the brief on arrival and had just one day in which to design a poster and an app, create a viral video and prepare a presentation before pitching their campaign to a team of four judges.

Each team worked with a mentor from CCE. Sophie Wilson said: “Our mentor was inspirational, helping us with business definitions to make our designs more sophisticated. He gave very constructive feedback and helped us keep our presentation concise.”

Just two of the GSAL team, Sobaan Ali and Dhaval Sethi, are working towards a GCSE in business studies, and recruited the eight-strong team themselves after learning of the contest.