Pupils compete in 100-Day Entrepreneurship Challenge

By Tim Aldred

26 Mar 2024

Eco Structure Merchant Taylors School

Twelve teams from seven schools and colleges put their fledgling business skills to the test in The Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) 100-Day Entrepreneurship Challenge.

The competition was designed to showcase the entrepreneurial and sustainability skillsets of pupils in the region.

Each team was tasked with formulating a business idea addressing one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They would define the market for their products and how they would stand out, before planning their objectives, strategies, and financials – all in the space of 100 days.

Initiatives including planet-friendly transport solutions, a sustainable fashion app, and a food wastage app, were among the entries.

The entries were reviewed by a panel of judges from LUMS, including entrepreneurship lecturers and business owners who are members of the School’s Entrepreneurs in Residence network.

The winner was Eco Structure, from Merchant Taylors' School, near Liverpool. Their project involving manufacturing building insulation from sustainable materials stood out as particularly impressive.

The Eco Drive team from Runshaw College, in Leyland, and Blackburn College’s Seed Haven finished joint-second, while the People’s Choice Award – voted on by the audience on the day – went to Home-Less, from Burnley College.

Other groups taking part were from Our Lady's Catholic College, Lancaster; Holy Cross College, Bury; and Thornleigh Salesian College, from near Bolton.

Aleksandra Dabrowska, event co-organiser and undergraduate recruitment and conversion officer in LUMS, said: "It was inspiring to see the different ways the teams devised to both create sustainable businesses, and one they believed could make a profit – essential to any successful entrepreneurial venture.

“We were impressed with all of the teams who took part, and hope that they all gained a lot from the experience of setting up their own businesses, and from the feedback from the expert judges.”

Scott Lumley from Blackburn College said: “The emphasis on entrepreneurship makes the whole experience really inclusive; it’s great. It promotes entrepreneurship as sitting alongside all industries; we’ve got engineers with us, alongside business students.”

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