The Manufacturing Institute

Manchester students clean up in enterprise challenge

19 November 2012

Year Nine students at Manchester Communication Academy had a chance to enter the Dragons Den last week in a competition designed to test their entrepreneurial ability.

The competition, which took place over two days, challenged 240 students to set up their own mini-manufacturing businesses and design, build and market a new ‘MultiLiquid’ cleaning product and dispenser for a customer group of their choosing. 

Taking on job roles ranging from managing director to finance through to sales and marketing managers, teams were tasked with developing a brand for their company. They then pitched their fully costed ideas to the ‘dragons’, comprising of a team of senior managers from The Manufacturing Institute and local manufacturer McBride, Europe’s leading supplier of private label household and personal care products.

The events are part of a series of themed challenges which The Manufacturing Institute is supporting through its ‘Make It’ campaign, which aims to attract the brightest and best new talent into manufacturing by promoting the sector as an exciting and rewarding career option for young people.

Two teams were crowned as overall winners, winning praise from the Dragons on their innovative ideas. These included a his and hers “super gloss”, a dual-purpose product containing shower gel and lip gloss and a unique baby bath, containing everything needed to bathe a baby, with profits being donated to childrens’ charities.

Stephen Melia, Make It Events Co-ordinator, said:

“Developing a new generation of talent is essential for the future of manufacturing and the Make It campaign is designed to show the exciting, creative and varied careers that are on offer within the sector. By developing skills and stimulating interest at an early age, we hope that some of the students taking part in the challenge will consider a future career in manufacturing, engineering and technology.”

Steve Taylor, Lead Professional Scientific and Technical at Manchester Communication Academy, said:

“The two days have been a fantastic opportunity for all of our Year 9 students to engage in an event that simulates a real life business and enterprise challenge. All the skills that they were asked to use reflected the core communication skills that we teach in our curriculum from year 7. The aim of teaching these at an early age and applying them in events like this is to prepare students for future employment and give them the skills that future employers will be looking for.

“All the students had a fantastic day and some have even asked if they could potentially set up their own businesses. I would like to thank the Make it team and all the representatives from the local manufacturing companies involved for supporting and enriching the experience for the students.”

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