Talented business team wins £1,000 prize

Published: 22 January 2014 at 13:09

St Neots pupils wow the judges in final of Anglia Ruskin enterprise competition

An all-girl team from Ernulf Academy in St Neots has won the 2014 Anglia Ruskin University Talent@ business challenge. 

Members of the ‘Strictly Business’ team took home a cash prize of £1,000, as well as a £250 contribution towards their school minibus fund, after winning the annual event run by Anglia Ruskin’s Lord Ashcroft International Business School. 

It is the second year in succession that the first prize has gone to a St Neots school, after a team of sixth formers from Longsands Academy claimed the 2013 title.

The final took place at Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus, with students as young as 14 playing the role of marketing consultants, who were asked to pitch their recommendations for growing a fictional local festival. 

The panel of judges included Robin Chappell, owner of thriving Cambridge-based confectionery business Chocolat Chocolat, independent management trainer Noel Gray and members of the Lord Ashcroft International Business School.

Dr Sally Everett, Deputy Dean of Lord Ashcroft International Business School, was impressed with the high level of professionalism demonstrated by all of the finalists.  Dr Everett said:

“Standards were higher than we ever could have expected this year. 
“Teams demonstrated bright business thinking and innovative ideas backed up by sound research.  We are delighted to have met so many potential business stars and our thanks go to school and college tutors who supported their teams in taking part.”

Ben Cook, Business Studies teacher at Ernulf Academy, said:

“It is an exceptional achievement for any team to win this national event.  When you consider that most of the other teams were two or three years older than they are, it makes it even more extraordinary.
“The girls worked exceptionally hard and it is nice that the outstanding work done within the Business department at Ernulf Academy is now nationally recognised.”

The 10 teams competing in the final, which included youngsters from Hills Road Sixth Form and Netherhall in Cambridge; Castle Manor in Haverhill and Belfairs Academy in Leigh-on-Sea, were selected from over 40 entries.

‘Brighter Sparks’ from Castle Manor were the runners-up and the judges made a special award to ‘Benchivi’ from Hills Road Sixth Form for their inventive presentation, which included a 30-second video advertisement.