PUPILS from Glenlola Collegiate emerged as winners of the third annual NI Schools Business Challenge.

In association with the Henderson Group, BDO Northern Ireland and Queen’s Management School, 13 teams made up from schools across Northern Ireland took part in the competitive competition.

The initiative required pupils to develop and present a business strategy based on a case study provided by local business, the Henderson Group, specifically in relation to their award-winning Gander App and Henderson Technology arm of the business.

Each team’s entry was judged by a panel of senior business experts from BDO Northern Ireland, Henderson Group, and Queen’s Management School with the aim of the project to help develop the pupils’ practical skillset and demonstrate their knowledge.

Through this challenge, the pupils received invaluable insights into the world of business with the added incentive of the content complementing their A Level course content.

Senior Partner for BDO Northern Ireland Nigel Harra, said:

“This challenge gives young people the opportunity to understand the real-life, strategic decision-making process organisations go through. The purpose of the challenge is to enable pupils to use their theoretical knowledge to solve problems while receiving help and advice from the best in business.

“This initiative helps equip pupils with the necessary experience and guidance that will not only assist their studies, but, will be invaluable when carving out their future career paths. We congratulate Glenlola Collegiate on their much-deserved victory in what was an incredibly competitive event.”

Darren Nickels, Head of Technology at Henderson Technology congratulated the winners:

“We are thrilled to be part of the NI Business Challenge for the third year in a row which helps shape future business leaders. I was very impressed at the high standard of pupils taking part, all of whom demonstrated analytical thinking, problem solving skills and effective communication skills. As event partners, this event is a key element to our corporate social responsibility. In today’s environment this is more important than ever, especially to big business and employers like us.

Professor Ciaran Connolly from Queen’s University Management School added: 

“Having panels made up of seasoned business professionals to provide strategic guidance throughout the challenge helped pupils to develop their business skills and build a solid foundation for their future success.”

“The calibre of students we see competing in this challenge is a credit to their teachers and schools. All the students should be commended for their efforts and I hope that they found the day both beneficial and informative. I would be thrilled to see these pupils as future students of Queen’s University Belfast.”

Education Manager at CCEA, Jill Armer, explains that the NI Business Challenge links to many integral parts of the curriculum:

Aligning seamlessly with the content of the A level business studies specification, the NI Business Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for pupils to put theory into practice and demonstrate their knowledge.”

This year’s event, supported by CCEA, took place at Queen’s Management School, Riddel Hall with the winning team from Glenlola being represented by Elsa Collins, Shana Martin, Kirsten Hanna, Allie Greer and Emer Malcolm. The winners were awarded the much-coveted trophy, VIP tickets for a Belfast Giants game and £500 for their school.

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