Product Developers of the Future: Business and Enterprise Week at New North Academy London
On Monday 29th February Tim Kitchin CEO of Euromonitor International set Year 4, 5 and 6 students at New North Academy Islington an enterprise challenge. Working in mixed year groups the children, aged 8-10 years old, were challenged to design a new healthy snack bar and prepare a pitch to be made to a panel of judges on the Friday.
The children were incredibly excited about the project and the opportunity to find out more about the world of business from Tim. They had some brilliant questions, Khalid wanted to know whether business decisions were built on knowledge of the economy; Stephanie wanted to know whether becoming CEO had changed his personality and a number of the children wanted to know how much money there was to be made in being a business man!
The first day of the challenge was all about research.
With the help of Euromonitor volunteers the 16 teams used data from Passport, Euromonitor’s flagship global market information system, to choose one of the following countries to sell their new healthy snack bar in: Australia, Japan, Mexico and Switzerland. Fantastic discussions took place as they looked at the opportunities and restrictions each country would bring. Data considered included: population size and sales of health and wellness products, as well as dietary facts about each country. Once teams had chosen their target country it was time to do more research creating mood boards. With help from volunteers they explored, the food, lifestyle and people as well as looking at ingredients and popular products already available in the market.
Using all their research the pupils spent the rest of the week working on developing their product. They had to decide on their target audience, choose and cost ingredients, work out what profit they could make, design a logo and packaging suitable for their market and create a marketing campaign.
At the beginning of the challenge each team nominated and voted on a Managing Director. On the Wednesday those pupils got the opportunity to visit Euromonitor’s head office to find out a bit more about working for an international company. They were also given a fantastic presentation by Maria Mascaraque, Health and Wellness Analyst, who helped them understand the scale and size of the Health and Wellness Snack Bar market and the different types of bars available: granola, fortified/functional energy and nutrition and breakfast bars, fruit bars and organic bars. The students had lots of questions for Maria, in particular about packaging and the unique selling points of different bars.
Friday was pitch day! In the morning the teams took part in workshops on preparing a pitch and presentation skills led by Euromonitor volunteers. They learnt about how their body language and tone and pace of voice could be key to a successful pitch later in the day.
The 16 teams each had 5 minutes to pitch to the panel of judges made up of Euromonitor volunteers and one of New North Academy’s Deputy Head Teachers. The standard of presentations and creativity was incredible. From marketing campaigns that included flash mobs in stations, to celebrity endorsement and jingles the students went all out to make their product stand out.
Judging them on their creativity, presentation, team work, use of market research and product profitability it was a closely fought contest. You could feel the tension in the assembly hall as the pupils nervously waited to hear which team would be named Business and Enterprise Week winners 2016. Every student who took part should be incredibly proud of all the work they did, the judges were blown away by the standard.
We could only have one winner though; in 3rd place was OMG who chose to build on the already healthy lifestyles of the Swiss. Second place went to NNA for Everyday who along with the eventual winners targeted Mexico, with a goal of helping to reduce the high incidences of obesity and diabetes. With an eye catching and confident presentation the overall winning team was Epicables. The team and their supporting teacher were presented with the Business and Enterprise Cup by Head Teacher Nicola Percy and will be invited to a special business lunch with Euromonitor staff members.