18 August 2016
Year 11 students enjoy a four day Classroom to Boardroom experience
On the first week of school holidays approximately 40 Year 11 students participated in ‘Classroom to Boardroom’ a programme run by Entrepreneurs In Action.
The students were split into two groups, who then received a ‘brief’, set by a London based charity, detailing a real problem they were having. The students were tasked with analysing the problem and then presenting their response in a formal business presentation to a panel from the challenging organization, in a boardroom scenario, three days later, in London.
Each group of students organized themselves into a consultancy company, electing their own CEO, splitting themselves into different departments, and even creating a company name and logo, before getting down to work.
The first team of consultants worked on a brief for the One And All foundation, which involved investigating the future of the hospitality market, and looking at how they could attract more entrepreneurs to develop business ideas in this sector. They predicted that the future of hospitality is likely to include cafes focusing on using ‘in-date’ food surplus to tackle issues with food waste, restaurants offering you the chance to print your food into any shape you like using a 3D printer, and restaurants that offer an immersive dining experience where you would not only eat a specific type of food (e.g. Chinese), but also experience the sights and sounds of that country using a Virtual Reality headset.
In order to attract more entrepreneurs they created a standard similar to Fair Trade for socially responsible companies in the sector, as well as a competition asking entrepreneurs to upload a video pitch of their business idea to an app. The panel were extremely impressed by the professional nature of both the content of their response and their presentations, however the real wow moment came from seeing a demo app which the students had created and presented to the panel on their phone for them to scroll through and see how it would work “… and in just 3 days”.
‘Acorn Consultancy’ worked on a brief from Centrepoint – a London based homeless charity, that is setting up a café in Dean Street to use as a platform to train homeless people as barista’s, offering them an NVQ certification and providing them with work experience. Centrepoint wanted to know how they could raise awareness of this programme and encourage the homeless people in their hostels to participate, considering it would be unpaid work experience.
Acorn Consultancy developed a marketing campaign that included a launch event, the creation of posters to put up around the hostels, and the use of screensaver images via the hostel’s computers, though perhaps their most innovative response was presenting that they had contacted some of the local coffee shops in London to investigate the possibility of guarantying jobs for the participants on completion of the scheme. They had discovered a real need on behalf of the local coffee shops for trained staff, and secured definite interest from coffee shop owners ready for Centrepoint to follow up.
Centrepoint staff were blown away with their responses and especially impressed with the fact that had understood the brief so well and the marketing initiatives were so low cost that are planning to take them on board and use them straight away. The students are now eagerly waiting to hear that the café is open and see their materials in use!