Enterprising students from Reading challenged to come up with innovative business ideas

POSTED: 6th July 2015
IN: Newsroom

Pupils from Reading Girls’ School have had their entrepreneurial talents put to the test during a one-day enterprise workshop in which they were challenged to develop and pitch an innovative business idea to a panel of business experts. The workshop was supported by Aldermore and run as part of the SKILL! programme.

The SKILL! programme was created by Patrick Philpott with the aim of inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurial talent. The programme is designed to help pupils at schools across Britain develop skills such as collaboration, communication, clear thinking and creativity which they will need when they enter the world of work.

The workshop at Reading Girls’ School was attended by 35 students who were separated into teams and challenged to come up with an innovative business proposal. Mentors from Aldermore’s Reading office were on hand to help them develop their ideas. The workshop culminated in the teams pitching their proposals to a panel of business experts in the ‘Tigers’ Cage’ where an overall winner was selected. The winning team came up with the entrepreneurial idea to set up a business which would take old clothing and textiles and recycle these into one-off garments and accessories.

The first and second placed teams from Reading Girls’ School will now go on to the grand final in London which will take place during Global Entrepreneurial Week in November. Both teams will battle it out against teams from a number of other schools to be crowned 2015 champions. In the lead-up to the final, the pupils will receive additional mentoring from Aldermore staff to help them develop their ideas.

Judy Botherway, Head of Faculty for Business Studies at Reading Girls’ School, said “We welcome Aldermore’s support in staging the SKILL! event here at Reading Girls’ School. Our students really enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate their entrepreneurial flair in a team environment and were very grateful for the support and mentoring they received from Aldermore’s local business experts. For the pupils, this experience has been invaluable, not only as they look towards their GCSEs, but ultimately because they will be able to take the skills they have developed today with them when they finish their studies and enter the world of work.”

Nova Everidge, Head of New Business Origination, Asset Finance at Aldermore, said “The students here at Reading Girls’ School came up with some fantastic ideas that have genuine commercial potential today. It’s really inspiring to watch the pupils participate in the workshop and practise essential skills that they will need after they have completed their education. Like all of our staff, our Reading team is always keen to give something back to the local community and relished the chance to mentor such enthusiastic pupils, some of whom we hope will go on to be the entrepreneurs of the future.” 

Aldermore’s partnership with SKILL! has been running for three years. The programme offers a unique opportunity for young people to learn first-hand from experienced business mentors, gaining confidence and practical skills such as presentation techniques and teamwork.

Aldermore has over 200 staff in its Reading office and the SKILL! workshop at Reading Girls’ School was the second that the Bank has supported this year. It followed an earlier workshop in Peterborough where Aldermore also has an office. A third workshop will take place in Manchester later in the year.

Click here for a photograph from the event.

For more information on SKILL! please visit their website here.


For further information, journalists can contact:

David Perkins, Public Relations Assistant

Phone:             0203 553 4291

Mobile:            07540 961839

Email:              David.Perkins@aldermore.co.uk


Notes to Editors:

For further information about Aldermore, our financial backers and our PR contacts, please review our Notes to Editors page.

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