IMAG1770IMAG1773Enterprise was the buzz word again at Harrow Way this week when all Year 10 students had an opportunity to take part in two challenging enterprise days.

The first day was led by Angus Farmer, Managing Director of CocoMango. This is a specialist manufacturing company which produces high quality hand-made soaps. Angus was making his fourth visit to the school following hugely successful and popular annual events in each of the last three years. After learning about the basics needed to form a small business the students worked in teams to design their own soaps. This involved selecting from a wide range of base and essential oils and blending other ingredients to create a product appropriate to their chosen target audience. Having agreed their secret recipes the teams of students then worked on the financial aspects of their proposals before generating effective advertising materials. When their proposals were cIMAG1883omplete, each group presented its product to a panel of judges in the semi-finals, with six teams wining through to the final stage. The overall winners were the members of the “Sudz Up!” Company, with their soap “Citrus Twist”. In second place were the “Tropical Treasure” Company with their cleverly named soap “Scent Overseas”. Runners up in a shared third place were “Guapala” with a soap named “Country Sunrise” and “Soap Basket”, who offered a soap named “Calming Violet”.

Angus takes the four winning recipes back to his factory, where he will make 50 bars of each soap that the students will later be able to sell, thereby completing their enterprise experience and bringing a sense of authenticity to their work. We hope the soaps will be ready in time for the school’s next Christmas Bazaar. Please keep a lookout for them on sale there and try them for yourself!

The whole day was highly educational and thoroughly enjoyable. Special thanks are due to Angus Farmer of CocoMango, Helen Gilbert of First Partnership EBP, and Richard Scriven, Richard Akister and Ian Carpenter of Andover Rotary Club, who were able to offer specialist support to the teams through valuable first-hand experience.

The second Enterprise Day was based on recycling electronic equipment. Students worked under the leadership of five representatives from SHP for Enterprise under their “Think Do” project to create and run their imaginary recycling companies. We have welcomed SHP to the school on numerous previous occasions and we know that we can always rely on the event being a great success. The 2013 event was certainly no exception.

After a full introduction to the essential business concepts each “company” was given a set brief to follow, including assigning the necessary roles, decision making, marketing strategy, and finance. After working enthusiastically to set up their companies and to agree their corporate identities and unique selling points the groups then made presentations to demonstrate their companies to the whole year group. The SHP team worked with the groups at every stage to help them throughout the process, including developing marketing materials to help them ‘sell’ their chosen products. The day allowed students to develop further key enterprise skills including communication, time management and team work as well as building their confidence in making presentations. At the same time they were thinking about and understanding the importance of recycling electronic goods.

Commenting on the two 2013 enterprise events Mr Parsons, Deputy Headteacher, said “We have been delighted to have had this opportunity to work with Angus from CocoMango and our friends from SHP again this year. The Year 10 students worked as enthusiastically as ever and responded well to each of the challenges they were set.” He emphasised the benefit to the students of participation in Enterprise Days, saying “It is a genuine pleasure to see students develop their so-called ‘soft skills’, which will help with future employability.  “I never fail to be impressed by the creativity and the innovation demonstrated by the students. Today the presentations were of stunning quality. Often when I meet former students they recall events like these as being the ones that they remember with affection from their school days.”

IMAG1889Many thanks to Steve, Paul, Laura Karl and Rob from SHP for making the day so successful and to Helen Gilbert from First Partnership, for her contribution to the successful organisation and running of both days.

There were individual prizes for Best Managing Director, best Finance Director, best Marketing Director and best I.T. Director and best Presenter. The winning team overall created a company called “Recycle Fest” with a presentation which included an acted version of their company advertisement.

Please visit for information about the CocoMango company or for information about the work of SHP or the Think-Do project, and to view the work of First Partnership (our local Business and Education Partnership).