Northumberland pupils showcase entrepreneurship skills

The Quali-Tea team which won the Enactus event at Glendale Middle School.
The Quali-Tea team which won the Enactus event at Glendale Middle School.

Students at a north Northumberland middle school have showcased their business skills in a recent project.

Year 8 pupils at Glendale Middle School in Wooler got their first taste of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur at the event.

The two-week project, run by students from Newcastle University’s Enactus Programme, involved designing, making and marketing a range of products and then exhibiting and selling them at a mock Trade Fair at the school.

The Glendale students worked in five groups, each given a different product type – a set of plates,tea towels, bowls, mugs and plant pots.

The Plant Pots r us team produced a colourful range to challenge the standard plant pots available in shops. Abstract Country Bowls created an impressive range of patterned bowls. NSCCNL aimed to cheer up mealtimes with their colourful unique plates. Tea Towels r us developed a range of flag designs with a Keep Calm theme. The Unit team, after careful research, themed their mugs into a distinctive range which they branded Quali-Tea.

The Trade Fair drew in buyers from Year 5 students, governors, parents, school staff and trustees from the Glendale Gateway Trust. Buyers were very impressed with the quality of what was on offer.

At the end, each team had to work out how much profit they had made, after subtracting the cost of materials from their gross income.

The Enactus students then awarded prizes on the basis of profits made, and quality of business acumen. Quali-Tea won the top prize for their imaginative attention to every stage of the process – they even arrived dressed in suits.

The Enactus Programme at Newcastle University aims to promote entrepreneurial skills within communities and attracts students who want to work with communities alongside their main studies. The programme also provides training to all those who want to be involved.

The university students, who are doing a range of courses, were very impressed with the creativity and energy of Glendale’s Year 8 students, and say they learned a lot themselves from designing and managing the event.

The link between the university and Glendale Middle School came about as a result of work done on young people’s experience of living in Glendale, undertaken by the Glendale Gateway Trust in 2013. The Year 8 Group of that time, along with older age groups consulted as part of this study, wanted to know more about employment opportunities