A team of Pocklington School Lower Sixth students put their entrepreneurial skills to the test, when they pitched their business idea to judges in a Young Enterprise Dragons’ Den style event held on Microsoft Teams.
The event was organised by a local franchise of the Young Enterprise scheme whose mission is to empower young people to discover, develop and celebrate their skills and potential. The event was open to all Lower Sixth students from senior schools in the region, irrespective of their course of study. Pocklington School was one of three participating senior schools, eager to hear the Dragons’ critique of their business plans and see how well they had honed their own employability and financial literacy skills.
Pocklington School’s team, Goodwoods Furniture, had to work through cost and revenue figures and a marketing plan, before presenting their business plan to judges and face questions afterwards. Students Thomas Dyson (Managing Director) and Lucy Wedge, supported by Harry Holland (Joint Managing Director) and fellow team members, pitched their environmentally friendly garden furniture product to the Dragons including Miranda Spencer of Cranswick PLC, Jason Stockwood of B Corp and Simply Business and former pupil Harry Coates (97-08) of Just Paper Tubes Ltd.
Gareth Shephard, Head of Economics and Business Studies at Pocklington School said: “The event was a great chance for the team to develop their skills ready for the Young Enterprise company programme competition later this year. Young Enterprise is an excellent way to learn effective communication and leadership skills as well as experience what it’s like to build and run a business.”
Old Pocklingtonian Harry Coates, who is Business Advisor to the Pocklington School Young Enterprise company 2021, said: “As an OP I was so proud of the students from Pocklington. The whole Dragons’ Den pitch experience will really make a hugely positive difference when they are applying for jobs in the future."
After the event, Tom and Lucy reflected on their experience and both thought that although they were very nervous to begin with, once they got going they were fine. They both concluded that it was not as daunting as they thought it was going to be and they had really enjoyed the opportunity and the experience.
The Dragons praised the Pocklington School team for being so professional commenting: “You are operating at a really high level, and you demonstrated that today!” In particular, the team were given credit for delivering their presentation without notes, providing good financial information and answering all the judges’ questions.
Gareth Shephard said: "The students worked so hard through last term's restrictions and this term's lockdown. They have not only pitched to the Dragons, but have also produced a prototype, developed their marketing and are building a website - we are so proud of them."
The Young Enterprise scheme was founded in 1962 based on the successful Junior Achievement programme and its ability to foster work readiness, entrepreneurship, financial literacy skills and its philosophy of “learning by doing.” As a national charity, the organisation seeks to motivate young people to succeed in the changing world of work by equipping them with the work skills, knowledge and confidence they need.
Click here to find out more about the scheme.