Somerset College

Entrepreneurial students compete in national finals

A team of budding entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners from Somerset College’s Peter Jones Enterprise Academy have recently competed in the national finals of the annual CIPS Negotiation Challenge.

The annual competition is hosted and run by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). The early rounds of the competition saw twenty four teams of students, from various Peter Jones Enterprise Academy’s across England, pit their wits against each other, with CIPS members volunteering as mentors to help each team develop their negotiating skills.

Following the initial rounds, the top six teams, including Somerset College, were then invited to the Rolls-Royce facility in Derby to battle it out in the national finals over a property development challenge. The teams were tasked with buying and selling land to each other on which to build a property and maximise their holdings. They then delivered presentations to a panel, which included Dean Fell, strategic purchasing executive at Rolls-Royce, and Tim Holder from PMMS who ran the final challenge.

After reaching the national finals, the Somerset College team were not selected as the overall winner but the team acquitted themselves very well throughout the challenge and gained invaluable experience. This was echoed by Dean Fell of Rolls-Royce, who was very impressed with the calibre of all six finals teams stating “What we have witnessed is a terrific effort from all participants. Many of whom have demonstrated real potential for a future in the procurement profession”.

The Enterprise Academy at Somerset College, which was founded by star of TV’s Dragon’s Den and successful entrepreneur Peter Jones, is the first of its kind in Somerset and is designed specifically for young people who are keen to get ahead in the world of business.

The team of Somerset College students who competed in the national CIPS finals are all working towards the Level 3 Diploma in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, which was developed by Peter Jones himself aims to develop the skills and knowledge required by individuals to set up and run their own successful business.

The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, which is aimed at 16-24 year olds and is located in the College’s award winning sustainable building the Genesis Centre, is now open for applications for 2013/14. So if you’ve got a great business idea and the determination to succeed, then contact Carole Beach on 01823 366 619 or carole.beach@somerset.ac.uk.