‘Chilled out’ pupils scoop young business award supported by Glasgow Airport
18 June 2013
Budding entrepreneurs from eight nursery, primary and secondary schools have been competing in the latest staging of Renfrewshire Council’s Dragons’ Den competition.
A distinguished judging panel of business dragons, including Glasgow Airport’s Head of Commercial John McConnell, gathered at the final of the event held at Reid Kerr College to listen to presentations from the competing teams.
Each team was trying to secure funding for their ideas from the dragons, with half of the total £3,000 in prize funds awarded by the Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund.
The team from St Andrew’s Academy were named the Overall Winners and also took the Secondary Section Trophy for their proposal ‘The Chill Zone.’ Established last August to assist the transition of new pupils in to the school, the zone provides an area where they can meet new friends, do homework and play computer games.
Pupils Alison Barney and Julia Donnelly made the successful case to the judges and their success will enable the purchase of new games consoles to bring in more customers.
Health and environmental themes featured in the Pre-Five category where the winners were Ferguslie Pre Five Centre with ‘The Allotment.’ A small shop will be established in the nursery to sell home grown vegetables and soft fruits. In addition to increasing local access to healthy foods, the project will involve a community programme supporting the project which will also help young people who are out of work to get involved.
Promoting fitness and healthy lifestyles was at the centre of the successful entry in the Primary Section. Kirklandneuk Primary School’s ‘Kickstart’ proposal will deliver a school-based community fitness club. Pupils will deliver training to deliver a range of fitness classes with the focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle in the school and in the community.
All three main category winners were awarded £500 to develop their proposals and took away trophies donated by the Clydesdale Bank. The other educational establishments who took part in the competition were: Paisley Pre Five Centre, St Fergus Primary School, St Anthony’s Primary, St Benedict’s High School and Paisley Grammar – who each received business backing of between £200 and £350.
John McConnell, Glasgow Airport’s Head of Commercial, said: “It is great to see local schoolchildren coming up with such innovative ideas, and even more encouraging to see their ideas developed into a sustainable business model. Our own staff are encouraged to imagine the airport is their own business and come up with entrepreneurial ideas which will improve efficiency, and these are often taken on board.
“We were therefore happy to support the Schools’ Dragons’ Den Programme through the Glasgow Airport Flightpath Fund for a second time and encourage the next generation of Renfrewshire entrepreneurs.”
Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education Policy Board, said: “The standard of concept and presentation was very high and the judges had some tough decisions. It was very encouraging to see such imaginative proposals backed up by detailed business thinking.
“I’d like to thank everyone who sponsored and supported this year’s event – and particularly our schools and nurseries, and the pupils who put so much effort and thought into their proposals and who presented them so well.”
Other sponsorship was provided by Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Leisure Services and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce. Reid Kerr College provided the venue, catering and filming of the event.