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Business leaders judge entrepreneurial challenge

Four local business leaders were selected as ‘Dragons’ to judge the regional heats of the Ryman National Enterprise Challenge at The Grove School in Market Drayton. 

Eva Davé (owner of Mincher-Lockett & Co Opticians), Charlotte Hollins (manager of Fordhall Farm), Rebecca Greenhalgh (education consultant) and Julia Roberts (director of Rocket Communications Ltd) all took part to judge the  seven ‘real life’ business pitches set as the contest challenge by The National Enterprise Challenge and UCFB – the inspiration learning group.

The challenge (which is also supported by long standing partner Ryman and entrepreneur, Theo Paphitis) took place over the course of a day at The Grove School. Students were asked to collaborate in teams of six and work on a fun and engaging real life business presentation in response to a challenge set. Students split into two categories; and seven groups were selected to present in front of the local ‘Dragons’.

Eva Davé said: ‘‘I think the children did extremely well pitching their ideas and collaborating together as teams. Public speaking and presenting is something most people try to avoid, yet despite obvious nerves these children got up in front of their peers and communicated their messages and ideas brilliantly. I think it was important for the students to see a group of successful female entrepreneurs and realise that we all have our own stories and that our success has come from hard work; and feeling the fear and doing it anyway! There were certainly some budding entrepreneurs and I wish them luck at Wembley."

Julia Roberts said: ‘’It was wonderful to see the local secondary school embracing opportunities in which their students can learn and develop business skills which can equip them for their future. Having a real life example of how learning applies to the business world and developing the skills you need to succeed is vitally important."

The winning team was chosen for their emphasis on brand storytelling, good presentation skills, and research and preparation. The all female team will go on to the final at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday July 10, where 1,500 challenge finalists from 235 schools will take part.

Sonia Taylor, head of The Grove said, “This event is a great opportunity for our students to learn new skills and showcase them amongst their peers. The students worked well together and presented well to the panel of judges. Providing our students with challenges such as this ensures they are equipped to succeed in the future."

Pictured: Charlotte Hollins, Julia Roberts, Rebecca Greenhalgh and Eve Davé


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