Future Business Magnates Competition
The teams were competing in the County Durham 'Future Business Magnates' competition, an enterprise competition organised by Durham County Council to encourage enterprise skills and increase aspirations among young people, introducing them to the excitement and exhilaration of working in business.
The competition runs over an academic year and each team is tasked with developing a business idea and completing a series of six business-related challenges.
Thorn Lighting offered the use of the fantastic facilities at the Academy of Light for the final of the six challenges, where the teams each present their business idea to a panel of judges. The marks awarded for the final challenge determine which team wins the coveted title of 'Future Business Magnates'.
This was the second year that Thorn Lighting had hosted the final challenge. Sarah Slaven, Business Development Director, Business Durham, whose team organise the competition, said "The Academy of Light is a perfect venue for the final challenge. It is a great opportunity for the young people to get a glimpse inside a high quality, modern manufacturing facility, and the impressive interior really helps to set the right tone for the importance of the final challenge. We are so grateful to Thorn Lighting for their generosity in allowing us to use the venue, not to mention the amount of refreshments the young people manage to get through!"
What makes the FBM competition special is the significant involvement of local businesses that are willing to give up their time to mentor the school teams. Each team is partnered with a business to mentor the team during the competition and share their business expertise.
As well as providing a venue for the final challenge, Thorn Lighting has been the business partner for the team from local school, Ferryhill Business and Enterprise College. The team came up with the idea to develop a dog collar with a GPS tracking device which can help you locate your pet and provide advice on good walks around your area, and they called their business 'D-Pets'.
The Ferryhill FBM team said "We really enjoyed the FBM project, particularly working as a team and developing our skills. It was fantastic to work with business partner Thorn Lighting and watch our idea develop over the months"
Thanks to the hard work of the young people, and the support from the team at Thorn Lighting, the Ferryhill FBM team was awarded the prize for 'Best Use of Technology' at the Awards Dinner, with the judges commenting that "this was a product they could see on the shelves of a store tomorrow!"
Speaking at the FBM Awards Dinner held on Friday 6th July, the Vice Chairman of Durham County Council, Councillor Pauline Charlton, summed up the importance of the competition:
"Widespread participation in enterprise is crucial for the future of the County's economy, and the Future Business Magnates competition is a really important initiative to develop entrepreneurial spirit and enterprise skills in our young people. We hope that what the young people have learnt during the competition will inspire them, and encourage others, to become our future business people. I believe it is an excellent example of the public, private and education sectors working together, and we really could not do it without your support."