Dame Allan’s School – Creative Enterprise Workshop

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TICE mentors Lee Casey (Creative Enterprise mentor) and Lottie Maddison (Fashion, Graphics, Illustration and Primary STEM mentor) visited Dame Allan’s School to provide an Enterprise workshop to the students. Generally, the workshop underpinned particular skills including: team work, communication, presentation, initiative and independence.

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The day commenced with an interactive presentation and discussion about the success and consequences of running a business. It was acknowledged that primary financial circumstances and independence were the contributing factors when considering to run a business. By taking examples of entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson and the Beckhams, we were able to consider the many ways in which a business can arise.DA2

Soon after the introduction, it was time for the team-building task – to create a 1 ½m statue with only five balloons, four A4 pieces of paper and a roll of tape. The learners have to then pitch to support the sculpture they have created. Sounds simple, right!? Well it probably would’ve been more successful if the balloons weren’t popping every two minutes! Despite the minor problems that occurred with the materials, many of the groups were collectively taking their time and communicating with each other. Without realising, they were beginning to have their own roles in the groups they were allocated. As time passed certain individuals were adapting to that leadership role, followed by many other titles that create a successful team. One of the two winning balloon sculptures was particularly impressive as it was purely constructed with the balloons with paper around the sides to keep it sturdy. It even had a colour scheme…now that is a suave sculpture!

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Then…the main task! The Enterprise brief called for learners to identify a gap in the app market and develop their own smart phone/tablet application. Lottie wanted to highlight a very important aspect of creating an app – are you making it for people who want to save time or waste time? Is it a game to fuel someone’s addiction or an easy alternative for a tedious task? The students were expected to continue working in their groups of five and allocate job roles and responsibilities. Titles included project managers, researchers and art workers. Once they had a well-constructed idea they had to culminate a two-minute pitch through various presentation methods. First of all, they had to brainstorm ideas, consider concepts with most potential and discuss how they could be refined or improved. It seemed that they all had good communication and no tension arose at this stage which was very impressive. It was easy to forget that these were high school students and not industry professionals!

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After about an hour of planning, Lee and Lottie sat on the panel to decide what pitch had the most potential in the creative industry. Peers were also expected to give feedback on pitches and offer points for development. The aim was to make this as realistic as possible for the students, as if they were attempting to sell an app which could potentially make it in the app stores on a global scale. Many aspects of a business were examined throughout these pitches, including:

  • Money transfer: PayPal etc.
  • Purchase price: In-App purchases, ads, free trials.
  • Interactive concept – strong links with social media, live chats.
  • Target audience: Age, Gender etc.

Lottie and Lee had to come to a conclusion – who had the best idea? You could see them both deliberating so intensely, it was almost impossible to pick the best idea amongst all of the intelligent, creative ideas that were pitched…

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The first winner was ‘StreamR’ – a Netflix/Spotify hybrid covering streaming in both music and film. Although this app wasn’t as original compared to others, there was thought put into this idea. Target audience, storage and price were all considered. They were even savvy with their competition, arguing that in terms of investment they would be ahead of Netflix and Spotify. Also how could you not love their logo!?

Another winner was ‘Eye Buy’ – a must-have app for those who envy what people wear when they walk down the street. It’s as simple as taking a picture of the outfit you’ve noticed and there you have it, the link to the original source so you can purchase it for yourself! Not only was this a wonderfully creative idea but they most importantly advertised it in a unique way. They did their own roleplay advertisement – funny, well-presented and intriguing. Certainly would be memorable for a professional investor!

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To conclude, we feel that the workshop supported learners presenting their work to those around them in the most suitable and appropriate way, thus communicating as an entrepreneur rather than an amateur. They were also able to use initiative and understand why it is important for someone involved in business. Team work and independence were also highlighted strongly throughout the day, as they were beginning to figure out when the right time was to work a particular way. A huge well done to Dame Allan’s School for being so impressive and innovative, we look forward to working with you again in the near future!