Budding entrepreneurs from a Northumberland school have been celebrating after winning a top business award putting them in line for national glory.
The students from Cramlington Learning Village were crowned the North Eastern regional winners of this year’s Coca-Cola Enterprises Real Business Challenge.
With more than 750 schools entered, the national competition will see over 70,000 students compete in a series of challenges across regional heats designed to test and develop their business acumen and creative thinking.
School teams from across the region travelled to St James’ Park to compete in the challenge, with Cramlington Learning Village emerging victorious following their campaign to raise awareness and support for sports charity StreetGames and its Multi-Sport Festivals taking place all over the country this summer.
The students will now progress to this year’s national final in London on March 25, where they will compete against 10 other regional finalists from across the UK.
Michael Bacon, teacher at Cramlington Learning Village, said: “It was an absolutely fantastic day.
“The school has had past success in the competition, so to beat 5,000 students in the region is incredible. I am so proud of the students. They have worked so hard.”
An annual initiative, the Real Business Challenge is designed to offer students aged 13 to 15 a valuable taste of the skills needed in a business environment.
Students compete to win a work experience placement at one of the StreetGames festivals as well as enrolment in an Events Management course to further build on the skills learnt throughout the competition.
At the regional final event, students were mentored by CCE professionals to help develop their business ideas before presenting them back to the Real Business Challenge judging panel led by head judge Bev Burnham, senior manager of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at CCE.
Teams’ scores were based on their enterprise skills, including team-work, leadership, creativity and presentation abilities.
Bev said: “The standard at this regional final was outstanding.
“Any business would be proud to work with the students.
“Their capacity for creativity through to implementation was breathtaking.”
Jane Ashworth, CEO of StreetGames said: “The multi-sport festivals we deliver in partnership with Coca-Cola are invaluable in giving young people from the most disadvantaged areas of the UK the opportunity to take part in fun, free activities with their friends.
“The work that our own young volunteers do to inspire their local communities has shown us the power that this peer-to-peer approach can have so it’ll be great to see what great ideas these budding entrepreneurs come up with.
“The opportunity for young people to develop valuable new skills for the world of work that comes from the Real Business Challenge is also something that we’re excited to be a part of.”