Pupils are cashing in on Tenner challenge

Swindon Advertiser: Pupils Tom Newton, Joe March and Megan Rowland launch the challenge.   Picture: Stuart Harrison Buy this photo » Pupils Tom Newton, Joe March and Megan Rowland launch the challenge. Picture: Stuart Harrison

YOUNG entrepreneurs will have their work cut out for them next month as they embark on a daunting business venture with just £10 in their pockets.

Pupils from Commonweal School, Nova Hreod and Kingsdown will be launching their own mini start-ups as part of Young Enterprise’s Tenner challenge.

Under the scheme, around 100 secondary school students in Swindon along with thousands of others across the country will receive £10 each with specific instructions to invest it in their business and make a profit throughout March.

Some 60 students gathered at Commonweal School for the Tenner launch yesterday morning, where teams met with and tested their business plans on industry experts from NatWest, John Lewis and Excalibur.

Commonweal students Megan Rowland, 14, and Tom Newton, 13, will start their own baking company next month. They will concoct their own treats but also order pastries from other businesses, which they will then sell at a competitive price to their classmates.

“We will try to sell cakes and bakery items for less money than the canteen,” said Megan. “But we will make sure they taste and look good. Whatever we get at the end we have decided to donate 50 per cent of it to Prospect Hospice. So we want to make as much as we can. I took part in Tenner last year and we made quite a good profit from cakes.”

Jordon Benjamin, 14, a Year 9 pupil at Kingsdown School will run Diet Delights, a healthy cakes company, along with his five teammates. A keen baker, Jordon is confident they will be successful.

“We came up with the idea of cakes but thought we could make something a bit healthier with less sugar,” he said. “I’m quite excited about it. And it will give me an excuse to do more cooking.”

Opting for a more ambitious concept, Commonweal students Ryan Davis, 13, Maisie Clark, 13, and Keiren Gibbs, 14, will produce t-shirts featuring their own original designs. They will donate a share of their profits to Help for Heroes.

“We have one design at the moment but we would like to have three,” said Ryan.

“We wanted to stand out and do something different. I’m quite nervous about it since it’s the first time we are doing something like this.”

Hannah Cook, manager of Young Enterprise said the challenge would boost pupils’ employability skills, test their business acumen and empower them at a later stage in a tough job market.

“It really makes a difference to their employability,” she said. “Pupils choose to take part, it’s something different and outside of the normal curriculum. It’s also fun for them.

“For some it is the first time they will realise that working hard equals money. It allows children to think differently because it is real; it’s real money.”

National winners will be announced at the end of the one-month challenge.

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