Enterprising stars shine in London

On 9 March 2016, four Year 10 students travelled to London to compete in the finals of the Premier League Enterprise Challenge. Over 1300 students took part this year and the girls from the Riverside Social team were four of only 28 young people to be chosen to represent their club in the final.

The students from Freebrough Academy represented Middlesbrough Football and after having fought off tough competition in the semi-finals, they had to work incredibly hard to prepare for the final. Working after school to write a full business plan, prepare promotional materials and develop their idea and presentation, they showed how hard work and effort can help you to learn and progress. During the finals they were asked to market their idea to a host of business professionals at a marketplace, present their idea to the judges within an eight minute time limit and answer questions from the judges. The judges were Peta Bistany (Premier League), Graeme Souness (Ex professional footballer) and Theo Paphitis (Entrepreneur). The first question came from Theo, “can you all come and work for me?” showing just how impressed he was by their creativity and professionalism. Grilled on their idea, the students had to demonstrate their understanding, acting quickly to answer the questions as fully as they could.

At the finals the competition was tougher than ever and the winning team was chosen from Manchester Utd. Despite the loss the girls congratulated every other student on their achievements and showed humility and grace.

As part of the trip they visited the Houses of Commons, escorted by Tommy Guthrie (Premier League) and Tom Blenkinsop (MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland). They went on a tour of the building and were given VIP treatment when Tom invited them to sit in the special galleries and view the debate that was happening. MPs were debating the Enterprise Bill, probably the most fitting debate that there could have been. The girls were able to sightsee, go on the London Eye and see a performance of the West End musical Wicked.

It is clear that the girls really do have a bright future ahead of them, and their entrepreneurial spirit will be a key part of their success. Well done girls!