Plenty of Umph!
Reed Education staff share their expertise with students and teachers at an exciting Dragons Den-style event.
Umph! is a pioneering business and enterprise competition for teenagers across Yorkshire to show off an impressive array of entrepreneurial skills.
This year there was a record turnout, with schools, sixth forms and further education colleges across the region keen to get involved. Teams pitted their wits against each other by making business decisions using the award-winning simulation software SimVenture. The day-long event ended with the budding business tycoons performing a Dragons Den-style presentation to the judging panel.
The teams were made up of four students each, aged between 16 and 19. Now in its third year, the event, which was held at Huddersfield Town's John Smith's Stadium on July 2, is the brainchild of financial adviser Grant Thornton and forms part of the company's Educate to Innovate programme. This aims to encourage entrepreneurialism in students and forge links between business and education in the region.
Support from local businesses
Among the judges was Andrea Joubert, Reed Education Area Manager for Yorkshire. She helped to assess Brooksbank School, which performed superbly by coming third overall.
Also involved from REED was Jackie Handy, Head of Management Development, who delivered a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) training session for the teachers who attended, which proved to be extremely popular.
A line-up of entrepreneurs tutored the students in a series of workshops and passed on the benefit of their experience. They included Andy Needham of confectionery manufacturer Stockleys Sweets; Jacob Hill, founder of the Lazy Camper festival essentials brand; and Dean Hoyle, the Huddersfield Town chairman who founded and sold the Card Factory retail business for a reported £350million.
A winning event
The winners received the 2013 Umph! Trophy, while each team member took home an iPad. The overall winning team was from Greenhead College in Huddersfield, made up of Zhi Hui Zhao, Saakshi Barman, Chris Gibson and Ben Bentley. Allerton High School in Leeds came second and Brooksbank School in Elland was third.
A-level business studies student Jonathan Howell, from Ackworth School in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, was named the "most entrepreneurial individual".
Real world outlook
Sandra O'Neill, Umph! organiser and head of business development at Grant Thornton, said: "It's great to see so many bright young people with a passion for business. We want schools and colleges to look outward and work more closely with local businesses and for businesses to think about how they can interact with schools."
Andrea Joubert from Reed Education added: "We are always excited to take part in these events and help students understand the world of work. The quality of the young people at the July event was outstanding. They may still be at school, but they already show real business awareness."
For more details about the event visit www.umph.uk.com