One of the Cornerstone Trust’s largest and most renowned ongoing projects is the Global Enterprise Challenge. It is an initiative that enables students to interact with the real business world through marketing and sales.
Microsoft believed in the potential of the project and,in 2014, awarded GEC with the winning prize of £25,000 at the Microsoft in Education Global Forum competition.With this support, BCPS launched the project into a worldwide challenge.
About the Challenge
“These children have a confident, enterprising attitude, justifying the value of their products, connecting to sustainable development goals, and outsourcing well.”-GEC judge
The children form teams within their school and connect with other teams from schools around the globe to create an international company. This is made simple usingthe collaboration toolsin Microsoft365; Teams, OneNote, and PowerPoint, for example. Through these platforms, the entrepreneurs-in-the-making share ideas for their logos, slogans, and other design and marketing ideas. These tools exhibit the importance of Education Technology (EdTech), which at the Cornerstone Academy Trust (TCAT) is supported by Microsoft as part of their Showcase School programme. As part of this programme, BCPS has the opportunity to offer access to Microsoft365 to all participants of the challenge. This promotes quality international communication as well as fulfilling the TCAT’s ethos in developing the pupils into active and compassionate global citizens.
Throughout the ten stages of the challenge, students not only embrace their creative side, they also must document how much their company spends alongside their net income in order to determine their profit. Students are able to create a tangible productto have a physical outcome of their hard work —whether it bemade from recycled products, textiles,via a 3D printer or other creative processes. The students present their prototypes in a “Dragon’s Den” style, then continue to create filmed advertisements and websites. After understanding the cycle of selling and reinvesting in order to become the most profitable company, preparing athorough presentation and individual written reports, their products are submitted to the judges.
Whilst it is a fun project, it delves into many skills necessary for life in the real-world. It also aids in increasing the children’s awareness of world markets, as well as general economic comprehension.
To enrich the children’s experience, the challenge is free to enter and participate, and past winners have had the opportunity to fly to Microsoft Headquarters in the United States and attend the awards ceremony!
The doesn’t just bring schools around the world together, but also the communities surrounding those schools. Local entrepreneurs and bankers talk to the students and provide input. Resources such as these help students gain exposure to external careers, experiences, and professional advice, as well as helping the students’ projects.
“They talked to us about teamwork and the importance of hearing others’ ideas. This was one of the reasons why they succeeded.”
To look at some previous winners click here!