Congratulations Verulam Enterprise!!

The Dragons’ Apprentice Challenge has been running for ten years. The outstanding success of the programme has meant that over 2000 local young people have participated, built skills for life and contributed to their local communities. To date over £500,000 has been passed on to local charities.

This year Verulam Sixth Form entered a team for the first time. The team was christened Verulam Enterprise and consisted of; Rob McKee , Michael Lawman, Samual Costantini, Alex Towle, Tom McLoughlin, Logan Schoonraad, Fadil Sharif, Andrew Martin, Dominic Maddison, Theo Neame.

John Acton was assigned as the ‘Dragon’ for Verulam Enterprise and our allocated charity was the OLLIE Foundation (One Life Lost Is Enough). This is a charity devoted to stopping young people from taking their own lives by removing the stigma surrounding the subject of suicide, improving the range and accessibility of help and promoting good mental health.

It has been my privilege to work with this talented and driven group of young gentlemen. I have seen them develop valuable skills for business, grow in confidence and commitment, apply themselves, adapt and achieve an incredible amount during the past 5 months.

Their achievements have been both tangible – an amazing £3,300 raised for the Ollie Foundation – and intangible. They took up the gauntlet, they listened to the brief, they responded to the challenge, they developed the skills, sought advice when needed and did what it took to achieve their goal.

The Brief:

The team was tasked with creating a sustainable business idea. They were told to be innovative and use their entrepreneurial skills to raise funds for their given charity.

The Business Idea:

After a thorough brainstorm it was decided to create the OLLIE Card. This card entitles all cardholders to receive fantastic discounts at participating
St Albans cafes, restaurants, pubs and eateries. It can be purchased for just £20.00 and is eligible from December 2017 – November 2018. To date OLLIE card sales have generated £3,300 in revenue for the OLLIE Foundation but the total can continue to rise throughout the year.

The Awards Evening took place on Monday. Our boys were the epitome of professionalism as they presented their innovative idea, and handed over the profits and a sustainable business to the OLLIE Foundation.

They were winners of ‘The Innovation Award’ and ‘Best Presentation Award’ and they raised the second highest amount of money for their charity. It’s also worth mentioning that three other Dragons commented on the excellence and impressiveness of our boys in Verulam Enterprise.

The boys were a credit to their families, Verulam and Sixth Form. The OLLIE Foundation, Verulam staff and governors are all incredibly proud of them.

Richard Kennedy, Chair of Governors commented:

“I would like to add governor congratulations to the whole team for what is in our opinion an outstanding performance which has raised the profile of the foundation, provided a fantastic business experience and left a continuing legacy. A great achievement. We are all very proud of you and look forward to next year’s challenge.”

Team leader Rob McKee commented:

“The future is bright for our idea, as it is now being continued by The OLLIE Foundation as they have confirmed to replicate our business model of St Albans and apply it to their working locations in Stevenage, Luton, Hemel Hempstead and Harpenden.

We would like to thank John Acton from DPI Europe for his incredible work and guidance. He was essential to the planning and structure of our business model. He had belief in our qualities and he was a real driving force for us as a team. Moreover, Mr Engel was a super mentor. He provided us with support and confidence that we needed to succeed in the challenge. Special mentions to Mrs M Bailey, Mr Blaxill and Mrs Glass. Thanks for your support!”


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