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Big Challenge Competition

Alexandra Webb, Lucy Zhang, Hamza Javed, Gregory Williams and Sophie Cheetham, a group of young entrepreneurs from year 9 share what they have learnt through their

Alexandra Webb, Lucy Zhang, Hamza Javed, Gregory Williams and Sophie Cheetham, a group of young entrepreneurs from year 9 share what they have learnt through their experiences in the Big Challenge competition...

 We are Aroma Blossom, a team of young entrepreneurs currently competing in the Big Challenge 2014, a business competition set up for young people across Sheffield to see who can create the best business, ending with the winning team being sent on an all-expenses covered trip to Berlin in Germany (paid for in full by sponsors and supporting firms). The competition is open to anyone from eleven to eighteen, in groups containing one to eight students. Starting with an opening meeting in July, we aimed to learn as much as possible about business, then using our new skills to sell, culminating in an awards evening in February.  Our business has expanded steadily, gaining second place in two awards (one for progress and another for media & marketing) and generating in excess of £1000 turnover. Our business is currently the most successful team in Tapton, and one of the leading teams overall, selling our products both at various markets and inside Tapton School.

The business itself specialises in luxury homemade Scented Candles, Bathbombs and Soaps. Although we are eternally grateful to our wonderful mentors, Miss Dabinett and Mrs Wilkins, whose excellent advice we could not do without, all our ideas, money, stock and manufacturing of the products have come entirely from our members, as we have always believed it was important to invest our own time in order to achieve excellence in this challenge. Investment was supplied directly from our member’s savings, and our products made in our own houses (albeit with a little help from our parents).

At the beginning of the challenge, many of our five group members were not particularly well acquainted, and with no experience of either manufacturing or business (as none of us have yet had the opportunity to do business studies or economics as a subject), we felt this was a great learning experience. We were also a good deal younger than many of the other participants and had never encountered anything similar to the Big Challenge before, but despite these disadvantages, we got off to a flying start, selling all of our Candles and Soaps and the majority of our Bath bombs (they were all sold a few days later) at our first fair. We are now making rapid progress and generating a tidy income long before many other groups have even got a business idea finalised.

The final deadline for submitting our report is the 20th of February, with judging taking place over the following months and ending in April. For further information, please visit either the Big Challenge website at www.bigchallenge.biz or our own website at www.aromablossom.co.uk

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