Aylsham students boost their business experience

Story and pictures by Ella Hawes and Caitlin Stursberg

Aylsham High School played host the future Alan Sugars of the world as they took on a series of challenges with one aim, to win over as many investors as possible.

The business BOOST (Building On Our Skills Together) day on July 12 saw each team being given a different trademark brand and an unexpected target audience. There was Lush for men, Primark for the rich and PlayStation for girls.

The event was organised by AHS Young Chamber and involved a collection of business enthusiasts, all students at Aylsham High School. The day is held annually for Year 7 students who have shown excellent participation and interest in business and enterprise, to work together and engage in a marketing task supported by older students, with people from local businesses acting as mentors.

Each team had to create a campaign using different media platforms to attract their target audience, and then pitch their ideas to the investors. There was a 15-minute window to address their pitches to the investors, all businessmen/women from the local community.

Chaos reigned as all the teams tried to get the investors’ attention. Standing in the middle of it all, the students came up with a variety of ideas to attract the investors and their target audiences; there were teams who made branded T-shirts, there were loads of people holding up posters for their campaign and one team created their own app.

They were all desperately trying to get the investors to listen to their pitch and give them the coveted investors’ cards they need to win. At the end of the day the team with the most investment cards would win. The winners were the Baby Dragons with their budget range of Nike sportswear.

One investor, Sabina Rospedzihowska, said it was great to be able “to mentor the kids and watch their ideas grow”. And the students certainly had lots of ideas and things to say when we went round to speak to them.

On the PlayStation team Sophie Baker said how she was “experiencing what it’s like to work with others”. They had to pitch PlayStation to girls and had come up with an idea called PlayStation Light that involved apps on phones, educational gains, parental conscriptions and many other things. This team had also designed two posters to go with their campaign.

The Primark team were pitching for the top end of the market and had made T-shirts, bags, purses and accessories all made out of top-quality material. Naomi Ives said: “This will be good for our future.”

But Emma Lucy Auber, head of business studies at the school said the day was also about having fun and “bringing business to life”.

The students had to tackle problems which occurred within their campaigns, and how solving one problems often led to another making it hard to pitch the perfect campaign.

The team of older students, though, were on hand to encourage the younger students and help them to develop their ideas.

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