Enterprising pupils are fired up for ROCKET business challenge

Posted on Tuesday 29th June 2010

Would-be entrepreneurs from four Birmingham schools are taking part in a challenge to test their business acumen.

The ROCKET Challenge 2010 is being launched at the University of Birmingham Business School on June 30 and will see dozens of Year 11 and 12 pupils from across the city take part in a two-week business event.

Organised by the Women’s Enterprise Research Centre – a specialist hub launched by the University and the Women’s Business Development Agency to support high-growth women’s enterprise and academic and practitioner based research on Women’s Enterprise  – the competition aims to enthuse teenagers about business.

The schools – Hamstead Hall School in Hansdworth Wood; Holyhead School, Handsworth;  Bournville School, Bournville, Fairfax School, Sutton Coldfield and Beaumont School in St Albans - can field up to four teams of eight pupils. Each team will have to work on a business problem, which will be revealed on launch day.

They will have two weeks to devise a solution and prepare a presentation for a judging panel, which includes Professor Isabelle Szmigin, from the Birmingham Business School and entrepreneurs Angela Maxwell OBE and Nicoletta Bertolone Jones, one of this year’s Business Management graduates from the Birmingham Business School  and Kallum Bell, a young entrepreneur from the region who set up his own business at just 14, and is a member of the Young People’s Enterprise Partnership which is part of the Young People’s Enterprise Centre of Expertise,a

The winning team will be awarded £300 and the school will also receive £200.

Professor Szmigin said she hoped the exciting challenge would encourage school pupils to think about setting up their own businesses or pursuing entrepreneurial careers.

“The Birmingham Business School is thrilled to support local schools getting young people involved in business,” she said.

“Calling it a rocket challenge is very apt: to be successful in business you need a lot of energy and there is a desire to reach for the stars. We hope in this fun challenge we might encourage the business stars of the future.”

Sally Arkley, Director of the Women’s Business Development Agency added ““For the West Midlands to be successful we need to encourage enterprise at every level and giving young people the chance to take part and learn about the world of business is essential.”