Unleashing the Power of Young Entrepreneurs: The Tenner Challenge
9th January 2024
With just one £10 note each in their hands, a group of our most creative Year 11 pupils entered the fast-paced and ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship, bucking the traditional notion of needing substantial capital to start a business.
Students were pledged just £10 from the Tenner Bank and used this start-up capital to launch each enterprise. With just one month to set up a business, pupils needed to rapidly develop the idea of a product or service they could sell, aiming to maximise profits and the return on investment. Encouraged to think both ethically and sustainably, students went on to choose how to use the profits for social good and/or charity donations.
Proving that limited financial resources can be a blessing in disguise, weekly enrichment sessions were dedicated to brainstorming, planning and product development, with teams focussed on maximising available resources, understanding markets and increasing brand awareness.
Reflecting on the success and challenges of each business, we asked our Tenner Challenge teams, what worked, what failed and what they took away from their experience as Generation Entrepreneur.
The tenner challenge had a significant impact on our lives, pushing us to be independent and create something with the £10 we were each given. Fortunately, 'Be Dazzled' was up for the challenge. Our idea began small - jewellery- but developed into something much beyond our wildest dreams.
Firstly, we had to find a way to incorporate all our strengths into creating a successful stall. Everyone in our group contributed to the creation of every piece of artwork displayed that day. The team created crafty and functional crochet pieces, handmade bracelets and we offered a service to transform hair into wonderful creations.
We were faced with issues, such as: last minute decorations for our stall and collecting pre-orders but we soon overcame these with our strong bond and collaboration. When it was the day to present what we had dedicated so much time to, we were ready to give it our best. Like most stalls, we started off slow but eventually, became a customer’s favourite.
Our stall wasn’t just about the aesthetics, ‘Be Dazzled’ became a celebration of unity and creativity. Each piece of artwork became a symbol of our joint dedication to making positive change. 'Be Dazzled' began as an idea and evolved into a way for us to channel our creativity into a cause close to our hearts: The Lagos Food Bank, a charity founded to fight hunger in Lagos, Nigeria. The thrill of raising £209 for TLFB was what made the Tenner Challenge an unforgettable event for us.
Savannah’s Bandannas is an idea one of our group members came up with in the summer before year 11. A lot of our teams had dogs, and we thought it would be really nice to support a small animal charity as well as make something different for each of our pets. In the beginning we had an arsenal of ideas of how to make them and what to sell them with, leading to a lot of drive and determination to complete them all. We met up three times out of school to collectively make thank you cards, price tags, dog treat goody bags and of course, stitch the bandannas. For a lot of us, this was our first time stitching so that was a really fun experience to learn about! Fabric being relatively cheap, and already owning enough thread to stitch with as well as dog treats, we spent most of our budget on packaging for the bandannas, thank you cards and stickers, with money left over.
Our main way of advertising was through social media. It was effective as it meant that we could reach out to an audience both inside and outside of school. This helped us to gain more sales. Leading up to the Tenner Challenge fair, we would regularly post about our bandannas to create brand awareness. As our product was catered to a specific audience, it was essential that we advertise our product to the right people. Our instagram page included different types of dog models as being ‘doggy pawsitive’ was very important to us. Inclusivity was implemented into our business at an early stage. Our sizes ranged from small to large so that we could cater to dogs of all different sizes.
On the day of the fair, we set up our posters and signs ready to begin, and the way we sold mostly was running around asking if people had dogs, inviting them over and then convincing them to buy them (we even sold a few for cats too!) We also took pre-orders from our teachers and friends so we already knew we had sold to a few customers. Out of school family and friends were also a huge help towards raising our funds, and we were also joined by our lovely school dog who was helping us by wearing a bandanna. Overall, people loved the bandannas and stalls and we managed to raise almost £450 worth of money! Mayhew animal home (our charity) was extremely grateful, and even sent us a letter and certificate thanking us for our hard work.
Overall, the Tenner Challenge was a great experience. We learnt many valuable life skills such as time management, responsibility and creativity. It also gave us a sense of pride as we managed to raise so much money for a good cause, while having fun!
We had the idea for Stickzoo for a while - in 2022 we first conceptualised a colourful cast of animal characters to write stories about, however due to studies and other projects it had to be put on hold. Since day one of the challenge we had a set idea on what we wanted to do, passing a notebook back and forth to add different lists, designs and plans for the final day, having our stall layout drawn up about a week in.
Our main challenge was marketing, since our poster didn't make it onto the Google slide when it first made its rounds, however we solved this problem by spreading our product through word of mouth, "sponsoring" people in different years with spare stickers to advertise our brand. The only other issue we really faced was being right at the door and at the wind's mercy on the day, but if anything the commotion drew people towards us more which worked out well, so it was an all-round good experience, and we're glad to have raised so much money for our chosen charity, Reverse Rett.
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