Three of our enterprising Year 9 students have won the trip of a lifetime to Amsterdam at the prestigious 10th annual BiG Challenge Awards for school and college students, sponsored by major law firm DLA Piper, one of the top law firms in the world, who started in Sheffield.
David Grey MBE, Chairman of the BiG Challenge, presented the Awards to a packed room of over 200 young people, parents, teachers, Council and business leaders in an Oscars-style ceremony at the Holiday Inn Royal Victoria Hotel on Wednesday 5 April.
The winning business The Letter Studio, run by Leah Young, Alia Fitton and Harriet Bland, produced and sold gifts made from scrabble pieces. After winning a ‘Flying Start’ award early on in the competition, The Letter Studio went on to pick an award for their Media and Marketing Activities, before being shortlisted for the finals, where they were winners of the Key Stage 3 Award, and then finally named overall winners of the BiG Challenge.
As well as winning the top prize, The Letter Studio, have made BiG Challenge history by making the first international sale to Australia! Commenting on their success, Leah said, ‘I’m just so shocked, I didn’t expect our product to go so far.’
Harriet and Alia agreed that: ‘The BiG Challenge is an amazing, amazing thing. We cannot stress how important it is for young people like us to get involved with things like this - you never know what might happen!'
The BiG Challenge is open to all Sheffield schools and colleges, with participants aged from 11 to 19. Each team was given an initial £25 investment to start and grow their business over a six-month period; the goal is to increase this amount by as much as possible through teamwork, innovation and entrepreneurship. The competition reached new heights this year with teams from 13 schools and colleges making nearly £12,000 profit.
Though each team requires supervision by a member of staff, the running of the small business is largely left to the students, greatly developing their independence and problem solving skills. As Mr Coote who is running the challenge this year, said: “I think it’s a fantastic opportunity to develop enterprising skills at a young age.”