Nearly 300 pupils sign up for University’s entrepreneur competition

News | Posted on Thursday 23 April 2020

Young people from across Yorkshire have signed up to an online version of the University’s Big Deal Business and Enterprise competition.

The programme, which is for state school pupils from diverse backgrounds, involves a series of virtual weekly tasks to help participants come up with a unique and innovative idea for a product, business or social enterprise.


Students aged 13 to 15 engage with business mentors from across the country and are supported by the Access and Outreach team and current York undergraduates through weekly webinars.

Liz Mannion, Careers Leader at Richmond School in North Yorkshire, said: "The University of York has been so proactive in offering the Big Deal online to our students. We have had a massive take up and it has really given the students a challenge while they are working from home during school closure. I am confident that the enterprise skills they are developing will help them in their future careers."


And John Frankland, Director of 5th Dimension Consulting Ltd in Hull, said: "I’m really pleased to be part of The Big Deal this year. I’ve been amazed at the ideas that the students are coming forward with. They show a depth of understanding about business and a maturity that I don’t think I had at that age!

"I’ve been in business for over 25 years and have worked with companies ranging from new start-ups through to large multinational corporations, but I still find some of the questions the students are coming up with really challenging. They’ve clearly thought a lot about what it is they want to achieve.

"I’m so glad to be able to give something back and to help inform and shape young entrepreneurs’ minds. I just wish something like The Big Deal had been available to me when I was at school.”


At the end of the programme, competitors submit a business plan to be judged by business mentors and University leaders. Awards, ranging from iPads and AirPod headphones to books and hoodies, are given throughout the programme to recognise great ideas and contributions.

Last year's winners were four students from a school in Pontefract who created BIO-HEX, a Hydroponic Plant Growth System.

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