School pupils from across London visited Middlesex in November to put their business skills to the test, as part of the University's Junior Entrepreneur Competition during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Year 8 pupils from 11 of the capital's secondary schools – including St Mary's and St John's School (SMSJ) in Barnet, Acland Burghley School in Camden and Chiswick School in Hounslow – were tasked with researching and planning the development of a new social activity centre for Middlesex students.
Working in teams, the 54 pupils carried our market research on campus with current students and worked with business consultants to develop their ideas, before presenting their plans to a panel of judges.
As well as helping them develop their business acumen, the event was organised to give students a taste of university life and the sorts of things they will experience if they continue to higher education.
"Students come away from each event energised and full of enthusiasm. Moreover they gain in self-confidence as they realise what they are capable of, and how successful they can be" – Michelle Dale, Business and Enterprise Teacher
Michelle Dale, Business and Enterprise Teacher at SMSJ, believes that preparing pupils for life beyond school and ensuring that they are adequately skilled for both the workplace and institutes of higher education is central to her school's role.
"Enterprise education is vital in this process, as it develops the softer skills that are so important to an individual," she says.
"The work that Middlesex University does through its school outreach programme adds another dimension to our enterprise education, and gives our students an opportunity to apply their new skills in the outside world."
After presenting their business plans to the judges, high street gift vouchers were awarded to each member of the top three teams. First place went to Enfield County School, followed by Chiswick School in second and St Mary's and St John's School in third.