With more than a nod to TV’s Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice Junior Achievement Isle of Man has promoted the benefits of its flagship company programme to students from Ballakermeen High School, Castle Rushen High School, King William’s College and Queen Elizabeth II High School.
Following a short presentation at each school by Junior Achievement’s Sue Cook and Kirsty Coffey students were divided into teams and tasked with devising an advertising campaign for products chosen by the charity, a shower gel and an energy drink.
After working on their campaigns the students presented their ideas to the judging panel of volunteer business mentors and a representative from the Boston Charitable Trust, sponsors of the company programme.
At Ballakermeen High School’s session where teams had worked on an advertising campaign for an energy drink, much inspiration had been drawn from the Olympic achievements of Usain Bolt, prompting sales pitches such as ‘Bolt: strikes you into life’, and ‘Thunderbolt’, but it was Team Go, with their aptly named Go energy-boosting drink, that triumphed, winning its members a trophy for their compellingly theatrical and hi-energy presentation.
Programme manager Kirsty Coffey said: ‘The sessions sparked some truly imaginative ideas and were great fun. But there was a serious element, too, in that the challenges we’d set served to illustrate the fundamentals of the company programme, in particular the importance of leadership, teamwork and having a clearly defined vision of the finished product. In this we are fortunate to have tremendous support from our volunteer business mentors who help steer students through the complexities of setting up and running a business. We’re also grateful to our sponsors, the Boston Charitable Trust, for recognising the value of helping to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs.’