PACA's Winning Entrepreneurs Meet Start-Up Specialists
Every year, students from across the Aldridge Academies take part in the global movement, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).
As part of GEW 2019 the Foundation launched a challenge for all Aldridge schools to “explore new ways to live healthily in school and in your local community” giving students the chance to develop their enterprise and entrepreneurship schools whilst facing a real-life business challenge.
The student’s responses to the challenge were approached with passion and creativity and it was clear that the theme that we had chosen was something that was very important to them. Y9 PACA student Issac said “I think that healthy living is living in a way that is beneficial to the mental and physical health of yourself, those around you, and the planet in general. Right now, public health and planetary health could definitely be improved, so it’s important to come up with ways the improve these problems.”
We were delighted that the national winning team was from PACA Year 9 students Isaac, Joseph and River. Their team, HydraGo, tackled the issue of climate change and reducing carbon emissions, seeing this as the biggest health issue facing us all.
Second place in the competition went to Brighton Aldridge Community Academy’s DDAA team – Demolish Depression and third place went to a second team from PACA. Year 7 students Jasmine, Archis, Erin and Alfie formed the Travelling Breakfast Club, tackling loneliness amongst the over 60s.
You can read more about the top three teams’ entries here.
On Tuesday 11 February the Aldridge Foundation and competition judge Paddy Willis, CEO and co-founder of Grocery Accelerator, organised a trip for the winning team and two runners up to Sustainable Ventures. The London-based company operate venture funds and run Europe’s latest shared workspace for innovative young companies that are looking to change the world through sustainable enterprise.
The students were surprised by the look and feel of the pared-back, industrial co-working space, many saying that they could see themselves working somewhere like that in the future. They enjoyed a tour of the building and meeting some of the Sustainable Ventures team as well as a range of founders who are running businesses within the workspace.
One of the aims of the trip was to inspire the students to continue developing their business ideas and give them the opportunity to meet people who can impart advice, wisdom and learning from having turned their own idea into a business opportunity. The trip certainly had the desired effect, as Year 9 student Jose[h commented: “I think that taking our idea further – with the help of teachers – would be a realistic possibility.”
Year 7 Erin added that she would encourage students to apply for the 2020 competition because [if you win] “it gives you an opportunity to meet entrepreneurs”.
Following their visit, students were treated to lunch at a restaurant along the Southbank before a visit to London Dungeons!