Last year, 35 Lower 6th girls divided themselves up and formed 5 social enterprise companies – their objective: to make as much profit as possible so that they could give 80% of their profit to the Beanstalk Charity.Â This national literacy charity recruits, vets, trains and supports volunteers to work in primary schools with children who have fallen behind with their reading.Â More details can be found here: http://www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk/
The companies had to put in their own share capital into their business, brainstorm product ideas, carry out market research, find suppliers, produce their products, advertise their business, manage customer expectations and finances to say the least!
The companies were: Snug (selling beanie hats and socks), Crane and Hoodini (that sold hoodies, Pulse (sold touch screen gloves and Whispers (selling bracelets and scrunchies).Â Their target market ranged from selling in school to selling at local primary school trade fairs and fashion shows.
The business experience culminated in the Dragonâ€™s Den where they had to present their business plans and company success to date to a panel of judges which included members from Deutsche Bank and former Top Gear presenter Michele Newman!
The girls gained much from their experiences such as team working, time managing, creativity, conflict resolution, presentation skills to name but a few. It was a challenging extra-curricular activity that had to balanced very carefully with academic expectations as many hours would go into the business, but as one member stated she â€˜wouldnâ€™t change it for the world and it has really helped me to manage my time effectively and enjoy experiences outside of the classroom. I still talk about our enterprise almost every day!â€™
Before the companies wound up they gave a whopping total of Â£1142.50 to the Beanstalk Charity – no pressure this yearâ€™s Lower 6th.