On Wednesday 31st of October 2018, the annual George R Donald Fund, Schools Enterprise Challenge took place for the fourth time.
But what is this competition and how did it come about?
Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce says:
Captain George R Donald MBE was a Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce (DACC) Secretary and Treasurer for 40 years who was passionate about the importance of education and training and preparing young people for entry to industry and professions. When he died in 1962, aged 92, he bequeathed a fund to the DACC for the purpose of recognising outstanding achievement in commercial subjects at Dundee’s secondary schools.
"Organised by the Chamber and the Trustees of the George Donald Fund, this challenge involves each school putting forward a team, sponsored by a DACC business who gives practical advice and support during and after the event, to tackle a live business challenge in a competitive environment and up against tight deadlines."
This year, the schools participating and their sponsors were (taken from website):
Each school selected four senior pupils and a teacher to participate in the challenge and they received input from an adviser from the company they were collaborating with.
Each year, there is a different challenge that schools are presented with and then they have a few hours to create a business to address this challenge.
This year's challenge was "encouraging local businesses to take advantage of the opportunities that the circular economy brings, whether that is in cost savings or generating new revenue themes."
In other words, the schools had to create a business which would address the issue of trying to cut back on waste, proposed by Circular Tayside. They had to create a business name, slogan and make two posters which would explain what the business would do and how they were going to do it.
All the schools had brilliant and thought-provoking initiatives and it was thoroughly engaging for me to be in the room with all of this going on.
Arbroath Academy took the prize from this challenge, with Craigie High School wining the People's Vote.
Arbroath Academy's idea was very much linked in with their harbour industry, as they came up with a business initiative to use shells from shellfish to use in other industries. After doing some market research, we discovered that many restaurants throw the waste form their shellfish away, when they could be used again.
Shells from shellfish can actually be re-used in a number of industries, such as construction for making concrete and farming for fertiliser. What our business would do is take the shells from fishmongers, restaurants and other such businesses, process them to ensure they are safe and clean and then sell them on to the construction and farming companies to be re-used.
The idea was met with praise and approval and we enjoyed taking a glass trophy back to our school (as well as some Amazon gift vouchers!)
Overall, the day was a great success and I hope the event will continue for main years to come, as it is a great way to get young people involved in business and thinking of their community.
By Ashley Pannell.