Belfast High School, Newtownabbey emerged as the Northern Ireland Go for it Challenge winner in the 16-19 age category, with Thornhill College, Londonderry winning the 14-16 age group at the Northern Ireland final which took place in W5 in Belfast today.
Funded by Invest Northern Ireland and sponsored by the Department of Education, the Go for it Challenge marked the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week and saw over 1,000 students aged 14-19, registering to take up the one-day enterprise challenge to develop profitable, original business ideas.
Invest Northern Ireland’s Director of Regional Economic Development, Bill Scott said: “Young people are the business leaders of the future. It is their ideas and business skills that will ensure future economic growth. As we focus on helping businesses through the downturn now, we must also ensure that we lay down solid foundations for future generations. Competitions like the Go for it Challenge ensure that young people can develop the skills and talent they will need to become tomorrow’s business leaders.”
The teams who participated today, had come through preliminary rounds and were asked to present their business ideas to a panel of industry experts. Thornhill College won the 14-16 age category with their business idea Megabite, a lunch ordering software for schools. Belfast High School won their age category with KPal, a nutritional monitoring application for mobile phones.
The two winning teams each won £1,000 for their school/college, with each team member winning £100 in high street vouchers.
Katrina Godfrey, Director of Curriculum, Qualifications & Standards in the Department of Education added: "The revised curriculum includes a particular focus on preparing young people for the world of work, not just as employees but as the employers and entrepreneurs of the future.
“The Go for it challenge provides an opportunity for pupils, supported by their teachers, to show how creative and innovative they can be in coming up with credible business ideas. The skills and enthusiasm that young people have demonstrated during the challenge have been very impressive and this augers well for the future of entrepreneurship. “
Copyright: Michael Cooper Photography
Pictured with the £1,000 prize are, from left, Katrina Godfrey, Director of Curriculum, Qualifications & Standards, Department of Education, Nicole Johnston, Laura Graham, Johnny Rea, Jordan Humphreys from Belfast High School, Newtownabbey, and Sharon Polson, Invest NI.