Entrepreneurial youngsters have been battling it out for the chance to represent Everton Football Club in a national business competition – and we can officially announce the winner!
Congratulations to Hillside High School, in Bootle, who competed against five others to become this year’s Premier League Enterprise Challenge representatives for the Blues and will now progress to the regional heats.
The real-life business challenge, undertaken by 31 football clubs and set by Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore, asks students to formulate a plan that encourages people in the United States of America to engage with football in the UK.
As well as coming up with ideas to meet the brief, each school had to cost their proposals, forecast the revenue that will be generated before presenting their ideas on stage to a 'Dragons' Den' style panel.
The panel, which consisted of EitC Executive Director, Phil Duffy, Fan Engagement Manager for Everton, Christine Prior, Investment Director for Quilter Cheviot, Graham Jones, Business Development Manager for Liverpool John Moores University, Chris Edwards, and Head of Account Management for Fanatics, Chris Bailes, were blown away by all the schools on the day.
Speaking after the event, Phil said: “We look forward to the competition each season and this year’s brief was a huge challenge for all the students.
“We were impressed by their maturity, attention to detail and confidence when standing up in front of the panel – all the groups would have done us proud in the next round. But there could only be one winner and Hillside High School’s creativity is what ultimately edged it on the day.
“We’d like to congratulate everyone who took part in challenge and are looking forward to the next round!”
All the participants on the day were treated to a meet-and-greet with Club Ambassador, Graham Stuart, as well as an insight into the real-life workings of a football club by Richard Kenyon, Director of Marketing and Communications.
BBC Breakfast presenter, Steph McGovern, was part of the Judges Panel at last year’s final and was impressed with the Enterprise Challenge. She said: “These are the people who are going to run this country and run the football clubs in the future. What they are learning now is absolutely crucial.
“There’s not enough in the current curriculum which is about enterprise so being part of things like this is also pulling in kids who might not necessarily be academic but are really good business people.
“We are hearing about problems with the skills gap and not enough young people coming through school who are work ready and it's exactly this kind of extra-curricular activity that will make them good in business. So programmes such as the Enterprise Challenge are really important.
“Anything to do with enterprise and making it fun is brilliant for young people to get a bit of experience of what the working world is like."