Enerprise Game



ENTERPRISING school children developed a board game aimed at teaching teenagers how to run a company - and it's been such a success they've gone into business themselves to sell it. 

The original idea was thought up more than 20 years ago, but failed to get off the ground because business and enterprise were not then part of the National Curriculum.  But now business skills are fully recognised by schools and combined with popularity of TV shows such as The Apprentice and Dragons' Den, pupils can't get enough of the subject.  A dozen schools in Halton, Cheshire, bought the intellectual property rights to the Enterprise Game and set their pupils the task of developing it for the 21st century.  The venture is run by Halton Borough Council's Education Business Part­nership under its boss, Andy Page.

And the Enterprise Game (www.theenterprisegame.com) has attracted so much interest, Mr Page now wants the schools to form a joint trading company with all profits channelled back to them. Mr Page says: "Since 2004 teaching pupils about business and enterprise has been a statutory requirement for schools as part of the National Curriculum.  It got me thinking about a retired lecturer I once knew who had the idea for the original board game.

He was 20 years ahead of his time but it was a classic business example of the right idea at the wrong time. I tracked him down and he offered to sell the idea. I went back to the headquarters in Halton, the two towns of Runcorn and Widnes, and all 12 agreed to fund the purchase from school funds.

"The schools each now own a 12th share of the venture and we set 14-year-olds at the secondary and special-needs schools the challenge of developing it into a game for the 2lst century.

“What has evolved is a very realistic game which teaches you how to be a business success and shows the devastating consequences of making the wrong move at the wrong time.
Kids love the game and the Halton school children are now very much part of their own real business enterprise.

"We've already had 3,000 games produced for sale and have developed customised versions where education authorities can sell off branding opportunities on the board to companies in their region.

"This means they can use the sponsorship raised to fund the purchase
of the games." The Enterprise Game has caught the imagination of pupils and teachers alike. Now the youngsters who developed it are seeing their efforts turn into a real-life business.
With help from Halton Education Busi­ness Partnership, they have successfully raised £100,000 worth of grants to put their game into production and have sourced a manufacturer from China to make it.
Education authorities and schools are now buying the game to use as an educa­tional tool to teach youngsters all about business and enterprise.

And Halton schools are now looking to develop the business further by designing an electronic and a mobile phone version of the Enterprise Game with pupils working on website designs, marketing, public relations and sales initiatives.
Mr Page a former business studies teacher, says Halton schools are on target to reach £50,000 of sales with Hampshire being the latest education authority to buy the Enterprise Game.
He adds: "Ultimately we would like to see every school in the country taking the game and we are sure also looking at options of devel­oping a version suitable for junior schools
“The project has been a fantastic business experience for the kids, who even organized their own launch event inviting 200 people, mostly from the business community.
“It's all about making youngsters aware of how business operates and what you need to do to be a success.''

Article and pictures Courtesy of the The Daily Mirror