February 27th saw the University of Gloucestershire run Professor Beckhoum's Business School Challenge, with three school sixth forms taking part to research and deliver a presentation on a business initiative, and CMI sponsoring the "Best Overall Proposal – Team Performance Prize".
- Bournside Academy entered three teams who delivered presentations on 'vegan coffee and coffee in a can'; 'a fashion website for 18-34 year olds'; and 'an initiative to replace crisps and other non-degradable packets with ones that are degradable'.
- Balcarras Academy also entered three teams, whose initiatives were 'establishing a vegan supermarket'; 'kitchen furniture for disabled people; and a historical representation app for the National Trust'.
- Chosen Hill School's team delivered a presentation on 'an initiative for a supermarket offering bulk products for bring your own containers'.
Scott Harvey CCMI represented CMI and the CMI Thames Valley Regional Board at the event and was on the judging panel, along with representatives from the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, the Gloucestershire Business Growth Hub and the University of Gloucestershire.
After all the presentations had been delivered, the judging panel had the difficult task of determining the 'Best Overall Proposal', and such was the quality of the entries, that two schools shared the award:
- One of the Bournside Academy teams ('Pack2Basics') had extensive research both into the problem and into the sourcing of degradable wrapping materials they could use – to the extent they brought samples with them and had worked out viable costings, sourcing and supply chain costs.
- Chosen Hill School's team had done also undertaken extensive research and answered the judges’ questions extremely well.
All of the schools were commended on their contributions and it's hoped that the competition will become an annual event, providing sixth form students with a great opportunity to research and develop business initiatives, and gain real value from interaction and engagement with business professionals.
What's more, the involvement and support of both Scott and the Thames Valley Regional Board ensured that CMI were fully engaged with an event to support business leaders of the future, and that CMI's profile was raised with local students, academics and businesses.