Young students take on Olympic Business Challenge

Birmingham Schools Olympic Challenge
Winning team Small Heath School with the business judging panel

25 April 2012

Students from schools across Birmingham were invited to Aston University to take part in Birmingham 2012: An Olympic Challenge.

The City will be hosting the Jamaican and USA National teams during London 2012, and pupils were asked to create a unique product and accompanying business plan to celebrate Birmingham’s contribution to the Games.

The Year 10 and Year 11 students worked with Aston University Student Volunteers who acted as “Business Mentors” during the five week entrepreneurial challenge, which culminated with  pitching their business idea to a panel of potential stakeholders.

The schools involved in the Challenge were all formerly members of the Aimhigher initiative in Birmingham and included: Bordesley Green Girls’ School; Heartlands Academy and Waverley School.

The winning team came from Small Heath School with their idea of a smartphone app which allows you to create a personalised onscreen character which can then guide you through the Olympics.

The panel of judges for the pitches were Matthew Hidderley, Business Development Manager at Birmingham Science Park Aston; Mike Bandar, recent Aston graduate and founder of My Health Cards Limited; Odette Hutchinson, Senior Lecturer at Aston Business School and Ben McAree, Web Marketing Officer at Aston University.

Amandip Bisel, Schools Liaison Officer for Widening Participation at Aston University, said: “The Challenge was a pilot event that we organised to engage the entrepreneurial spirit of the next generation of Business professionals.  We have enjoyed great feedback from the schools and student volunteers involved with many comments highlighting how fantastic the event was in engaging students and raising the aspirations of the young learners taking part. Due to the success of the Challenge, we hope to be able to run a similar event in the future.”

For further media information please contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or emaila.earnshaw@aston.ac.uk