Pupils profit from a lesson in business

Youngsters from Ark Blacklands Primary Academy got a taste of life in the fast lane of the business world when they took part in the nationwide Fiver Fiesta Challenge.

Learning about business, in a challenge similar to the TV show Dragon’s Den, pupils were given the task of deciding on and implementing the start up of a new business.

The event was part of the nationwide Fiver Challenge, run by Young Enterprise and supported by Virgin Money and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Fiver Challenge gave primary school pupils aged 5-11 one month to do something enterprising with their £5 pledge and aimed to inspire creativity and develop enterprising attitudes and behaviours in young people.

The participants were challenged to set up mini businesses to create products or services they can then sell/deliver at a profit and engage with their local community.

The Fiver Challenge introduces young people to the world of enterprise and helps build important employability skills, such as risk taking, team working, problem solving, communication and financial literacy, which they can continue to develop in later life.

Ark Blacklands Deputy Head, Natalie Rankin, said the challenge had been well received by the youngsters. “Pupils held a Fiver Fiesta last week. The Fiesta marked the end of Enterprise Week, where the children prepared their products for selling,” she said.

“Their Fiver Challenge began with a launch assembly led by the Young Enterprise Manager for East Sussex. She talked to all the pupils about the principles behind the challenge and began to get their ideas flowing for what they would do.

“Each class was given a £20 start-up fund from which to start their businesses.

“Children were involved in deciding what product or service to provide and some classes were faced with difficult decisions when ideas failed. Overcoming these difficulties has all been part of the challenge.”

Each class was responsible for promoting their product or service in order to maximise sales. A range of products were available on the day, including snacks and drinks, handmade gifts and trinkets, ice cream, home-made lemonade, and instructions on how to decorate your own cake.

Freddie, Year 6, added: “We had a great time learning about and creating our own businesses, as well as making a good profit. Our Year group used the money to spend a day in the park with new games and ice creams. The rest of my class decided to donate the last £45 profit to St Michael’s Hospice.”

Following the Fiesta, the children calculated their profits (or losses) and celebrated a really successful event. Find out more about the Fiver Challenge here: http://www.fiverchallenge.org.uk/