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Business students at Nescot have set up two companies as part of a national contest.

Five teams of second-year Level 3 students have joined the Tycoon Enterprise Competition, organised by the Peter Jones Foundation, to put their skills and knowledge into practice.

The groups were each given a loan of £120 to set up a business and run it for five weeks, with the aim of making the most profit possible.

“This is a great project because it allows the students to combine all the different units they’ve studied and put their knowledge into practice in a real-life scenario,” said Curriculum and Standards Coordinator Joe Hagan.

“They’re using their skills in market research, product development, promotion and finance, for example, as well as practising teamwork, communication and developing self-confidence.

“Learning by doing is really effective way for the students to solidify their skills and knowledge, and the experience can also help them to decide the area of business they want to specialise in next.”

One team of students has set up a business called Blissful Bites, making and selling cupcakes, while the other is called Smoothie Station and is offering healthy drinks. The other companies are Candle Bay, Mad Mugs, and Performance Pump. 

Ash Galiston is looking after finances for Blissful Bites, and said the project is giving him useful experience for his plans to study Accounting and Finance at university in September.

“Being able to manage cashflow, for example, with real business and real money shows you that you can actually do it, so you feel more confident,” he added.

Siobhan Rochford, the group’s production manager, said she is enjoying the project so far and is hoping the experience will help her to decide her future career plans.

“It’s definitely pushing us out of our comfort zone,” she said. “I found it intimidating at first, but when we broke it down we realised that we do have the skills and knowledge we need.”

The Tycoon Enterprise Competition is the Peter Jones Foundation’s flagship competition. The top teams are invited to a celebration event at Buckingham Palace.

Nescot offers qualifications in Business at Levels 2 and 3, and a Level 1.5 in Business and Information Technology.