challengeThis year a pilot Junior Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge began in four schools across the London Borough of Sutton. The competition works with teams of year 5 & 6 students over a 6 week period and offers a springboard into the world of business for 10 and 11 years olds. These young students were given £50 to invest into their very own business ideas to raise money for their chosen charity.

The participating schools were All Saints Benhilton, Cheam Common Junior Academy, St Elphege’s RC Junior School and Westbourne Primary School.

The teams came up with and implemented a variety of business ideas including making and selling popcorn, candyfloss and cakes; a two day sports tournament; creating, pricing and selling a variety of home-made products and organising several table sales to fellow students and parents.

An incredible £2172.10 was raised for local charities including SMILE – the Springboard Project, Home-Start Sutton, Jump Start Sutton and Jigsaw4u.

The finale to the competition was the opportunity to present their ideas and the results of their efforts in the ‘Boardroom’ to a panel of judges including Cllr Jane McCoy –Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee from Sutton Council and Alison Navarro, Chief Executive at Sutton CVS and Ian Richardson Chief Officer for Broxbourne and East Herts CVS.

“I was delighted to take part in this initiative as a boardroom ‘Superdragon’. I was very impressed by the hard work and professional attitude of the teams that took part. The students learnt important skills about working as a team and adapting to circumstances, whilst raising significant funds for local charities. They did themselves proud in the boardroom.” (Cllr Jane McCoy)

“It was a pleasure for Sutton CVS to be part of Junior Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge 2017 bringing together schools, charities and the local authority. The pupils in the primary schools did brilliantly. Well done to everyone involved. Look out for next years event”. (Alison Navarro).

Renaissance team from St Elphege’s RC Junior School were named the overall winners for the Junior Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge 2017. “We got overall Winner award for our Challenge and also received Most Innovative business idea award. Thank you so much for giving this wonderful opportunity and it was an amazing journey for our school and so happy to participate again”. (Selestin Nayagam).

A number of other awards were ‘up for grabs’ including Best Presentation; Most Money Raised; Most Innovative Business Idea; Best Poster; Outstanding Individual Achievement; Best Partnership with Dragon ‘mentor’ and Best Partnership with Community group/charity.

The Challenge was funded by the London Borough of Sutton and supported by Sutton CVS with support from Broxbourne and East Herts CVS. The teams were mentored by young employees Kiki Gkavogianni, Ben Saunders, Ryan Emmerson from Sutton Council and Megan Whatley from Metro Bank. The lead

The Junior Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge was originally launched in Hertfordshire in 2014 and this is the first year it has been running in Sutton. The competition is a version of the main Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge which is aimed at Year 12 students and is also planned to be piloted in Sutton’s Secondary Schools this year.