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Exciting & Fun

The National Enterprise Challenge in partnership with Ryman is an exciting and innovative enterprise programme open to all secondary schools in the UK. Taking place over the course of a day it is open to full year groups and split into two categories; KS3 and KS4. Working in teams of six, the students work on fun and engaging real-life business challenges set each year by actual businesses that support the challenge.

The 2019/20 challenge sponsors are sports nutrition brand Grenade and global plc AirProducts



Theo Paphitis

Challenge Ambassador

The challenge is supported by a long-standing partnership with Ryman and Challenge Ambassador, Theo Paphitis, entrepreneur, retail magnate Chairman of Ryman. Well known for his appearances on nine seasons of Dragon’s Den, Theo said “…some of the best pitches I’ve seen on The National Enterprise Challenge over the years have been even better than the ones I saw in ‘the den’! It’s a great way for kids to learn vital business skills”.




Educational & Inclusive

As well as promoting the spirit of entrepreneurialism and  providing an opportunity to hone vitall important transferrable skills, taking part in The National Enterprise Challenge can enable schools to meet some of the Gatsby benchmarks; giving every student who takes part a meaningful employer encounter through the real-life business challenges, as well as developing key skills that are valued in the workplace and will prepare them for life in modern Britain, which is a key focus of the Government’s career strategy.





The National Enterprise Challenge in Partnership with Ryman

As the UK’s largest school’s enterprise and employability competition we have helped to inspire more than 250,000 students from in excess of 450 schools since launching in 2013.

High Profile Support

The National Enterprise Challenge is part of the Inspirational Learning Group, whose aim is to provide innovative and enterprising off-timetable events for schools, colleges and universities; engaging, inspiring and motivating students to be the best they can be. The full year group programme has received high profile support from Theo Paphitis and Lord Sugar, alongside major national businesses that include Ryman, University of Football Business (UCFB), Screwfix, NatWest BankStaffordshire University, Alton Towers, OCR, Gandys, NCS and TG Escapes.

First Class Facilitation

The full day challenge is scheduled on a date to suit each school and delivered by our engaging and inspirational expert team of first class facilitators. All resources and requirements are provided, enabling schools to simply enjoy the challenge.

Delivered through video messaging, students are set real-life business challenges from our supporting businesses and receive a message from Challenge Ambassador, Theo Paphitis. Guided by our expert team, students then work on the challenge throughout the day, before pitching their ideas for a chance to represent their school at the national finals event. The winning team from every school is guaranteed entry to the national finals.

Stella Neal, Head of Business, Enterprise Centre Lead, said, “when I briefed the organisers, I told them that I didn’t want 6 winners and 130 losers on the challenge day. Every child had to come out with something. And they did. They had a fair chance to compete; reluctant students were skilfully engaged; they enjoyed the variety of activities and they all achieved something.”

Uptake of Business GCSE rose by 20%

Stella Neal continues: “The uptake of Business GCSE rose by around 20% this year such that now, almost 70% of Year 9 are studying business. We have more A level students than ever for both Business and Economics, and the local business that NEC introduced us to has proven to be a real champion for our school, even to the point of hosting a factory visit for our Year 10s and 11s to complement the curriculum.”

Winning Teams

Teams compete in a final showdown for the chance to present on-stage in front of Theo and our VIP judging panel.

An exceptional event and true celebration of enterprise, the national finals day offers high levels of enrichment to your entrepreneurial students. School teams come together brimming with excitement and anticipation as they compete against each other on the ideas they have worked hard to create, competing for the ultimate prize; the chance for their team to be crowned Ryman National Enterprise Challenge winners!

Theo Paphitis, delighted!

After nine seasons on Dragon’s Den, Theo remarked: “…pitching isn’t easy, but it’s a fantastic opportunity. More often than not I invested in the people and their passion, rather than the person I couldn’t connect with, even if they had an even better idea than the last person.” Having seen some talented and brilliant ideas that have made him sit up and take notice, Theo said he is ‘constantly delighted and surprised by the passion on show at the finals each year.’

The Inspirational Learning Group

One of the highlights of the year...

Over two hundred students remained fully engaged throughout a long and demanding day. The key to it’s success was that it allowed students with a variety of skills to contribute to a project which was exciting and relevant to modern life. The delivery team was outstanding; their energy and application was first-rate. Thank you so much!

Kevin Bird

Titus Salt School

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