Wednesday, September 18, 2019
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Brimming with business ideas and enterprise skills at Gibside School

A lovely warm welcome was had last week with an introduction to the children and staff at Gibside School. This workshop was designed to develop the children’s awareness and business ideas when considering the topic of enterprise. TICE mentors, Lee and Jen had the pleasure of working with 26 children, a mix of year 4 -6, working in business teams to support generating ideas for the up and coming school enterprise activities.

On arrival, and after a lovely ‘hello’ song, sang in multiple languages (!) we got down to business… literally. Each team was first tasked to get to know each other a little better. As explained, if they are to set up a business together then they must learn more about their fellow business members. This started the ‘Questions for my bear‘ challenge where everyone needed to colour a teddy bear according to their likes and dislikes and unique facts about themselves. The idea being, if the bear’s features were matched in colours, they obviously had something in common which they could share with their team. One particular team, for example, all had yellow teddy bear arms, this meant they all preferred summer to winter…who doesn’t!

After some colourful teddy bear comparisons, the next task was explained. This is the hardest part of setting up a business and the one that takes so much time and thought that some people never get round to doing it. This is Generating Business Ideas. After some inspiring examples such as sun muffs, toothpaste squeezers and spaghetti forks (who knew you needed those items?) the children were set the challenge.

Each team was given 3 items (a spoon, a bowl or a comb) they could improve or come up with their own unique invention. Something they think should be invented which was an ideal solution to many a problem.

Thinking caps were well and truly on, combs were invented with buttons to eject hair bobbles (genius), a comb to trim hair when it was too long (useful) and robot pens to help with writing (why not). Ideas were flowing very nicely. After only 20 mins of generating ideas, the children were then tasked to pick the best idea of their table for today’s workshop only. Shelving other ideas for a later date of course.

Our third challenge required the children to work as teams again discussing business development and details. Four challenges were given, one to describe the product, one to come up with the business name, one to draw the product and finally to describe their perfect customer. All of the above to develop the children’ ideas into actual business products using useful business techniques so the children could identify the who, the what and the why?

Our fourth challenge was all about the marketing of our ideas. First, we needed to see if they could recognise different businesses through their logos. No fear here, the children could instantly and enthusiastically identify companies such as the Metro, McDonald’s, Nike and even Mickey Mouse (which usually catches everyone out). With this in mind, the children were then asked to develop their own business logos with their business names developed in the previous challenge.

Now it was time to put a price on it. No business can be complete if we don’t know how much items sell for. This task was swift and calculated. How much was their products and do they think that their customers could afford them?

Now for the final challenge of the day. The presentation. After a busy business development morning, it was time to share the ideas of each team. This was fantastic to see each and every team get up, go to the front of the classroom and easily present their business products and details. We had everything we requested, the product, the description, the drawing, the customer, the logo and the price. We even had a song! (Thank you, Dylan). What more could we ask for?

Gibside School – Thank you very much for having us in. We had a lovely morning, (and afternoon with the staff), looking forward to seeing the businesses unfold!

Jen & Lee.

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