16 June 2019
The whole of Year 9 at Bolton School Girls’ Division came up with a range of creative snack concepts as part of the Parents’ Association Future Entrepreneurs (PAFE) competition: an annual challenge offering pupils the opportunity to develop their business acumen, teamwork and presentation skills.
This year, girls were asked to create a business plan based around a healthy snack product targeted at primary school pupils in Years 5 and 6, complete with marketing strategies, finances and information about ingredients and taste. Working in their Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition groups, they produced their initial ideas in a single day. The PA had organised a selection of experts for the teams to consult and arranged for them to conduct market research with pupils from the Junior Girls’ School. All of the teams made the most of these opportunities, which allowed them to present detailed business plans to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel of judges.
The best four groups progressed to the PAFE Final. They took on board the judges’ comments about their products and presentations and spent the intervening weeks polishing their pitches.
Coccoon created a range of Smoothie Squashes, offering healthy versions of familiar flavours. DOC Industries offered Jack’s Flapjacks, which included a fun card game. Pop’n’noms came up with the idea of a healthy popcorn cluster as an alternative to crisps. Vegan & Eco produced Wafflio, healthy waffles on the go, and pledged 12% of their profits to ShelterBox charity. All of the groups explained their ideas in a clear, organised fashion and managed to keep to the strict five minute time limit. They described how market research and discussion with experts had influenced their decision-making about their products, showed off developed concepts for adverts and packaging and answered the judges’ questions with confidence.
However, there could be only one winner. The difficult task of choosing which team would receive the trophy went to the judging panel: the Mayor of Bolton, Hilary Fairclough; Dave Bagley, Chief Executive Officer of Urban Outreach; Mrs James, Head of the Food and Nutrition Department at Bolton School; and Marilena Manfredi, Managing Director of PLM.
After careful deliberation, the judges announced that this year’s PAFE winners were DOC Industries: Molly Bell, Alesha Jiva, Kiana Murray, Ruby Rimmer, Zahra Shazaad and Ella Worsley. Each pupil received an Amazon voucher and their names will be added to the PAFE trophy.