The Gander Business Challenge was launched in 2016, in partnership with Cheadle Hulme based charity, the Seashell Trust, to offer students from our partner colleges the opportunity to experience the reality of running their own business.
After a successful first year, the event is now planned to take place annually, offering great experience for students, while raising awareness and funding for the Seashell Trust.
Groups of students from each college, receive a start-up fund of £50 from Seashell Trust and then set up a company, coming up with creative ways to make as much money as possible during the allotted time, typically from October to January, in an academic year.
The Business Challenge offers participating students some real world business challenges and while they have support of a registered Gander business supporter, who acts as a business advisor, the decisions are very much their own
Brian Bradley, Stockport President of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and co-founder of Gander, is a keen supporter of the initiative “We are delighted to be partnering Seashell Trust in this annual business challenge. It offers students from our partner colleges the opportunity of running a real business, as well as gaining insight from the local business community in activities such as planning, marketing and sales”
Jan Hill from Cheadle and Marple College Network, said “This collaboration with the Seashell Trust is an exciting addition to the work we already do with Gander, in support of our students. The BTEC Level 3 students who participate are required to organise an event as part of their course and the project enables it to be achieved with real world activity, including help and guidance from local business mentors. Our students gain confidence, communication skills and develop maturity from these types of employer collaborations”
Wendy Bray, from Seashell Trust, said “This partnership really does help Seashell Trust raise our profile and we hope the experience will help the participating students in their future search for employment”
The programme culminates each year, with presentations to a judging panel, who explore both the business activity undertaken and what the students have learnt in support of their studies.
Prizes are awarded for the most successful business in each college, with an overall winner for the best idea and execution.