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29 January 2018

It is hard to overstate the contributions small to medium enterprises make to the UK economy. The combined annual turnover of SMEs was £1.9 trillion in 2017, 51% of all private sector turnover in the UK. SMEs also accounted for the employment of 16.1 million people last year, over 60% of all private sector employment in the UK. These statistics illustrate the importance of exposing our students to business and enterprise as early in their school careers as possible.

The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge was a taste of entrepreneurship, innovation and problem solving. The Middle School was set the task of creating a real –life activity for the Kidzania facility in Westfield, London. After electing a managing director, groups approached the challenges in a whole host of ways; bright posters, cheeky slogans, memorable business names and not to mention the unique YouTube adverts! What was the most striking element of the day was the confidence and sophistication of the two-minute business pitch presented by our students. The facilitators were amazed at how articulate and engaging each group was, testament to the strength of our public speaking programme.

The finals day (held in July) will be a true representation of enterprise. The winning Reddam team will head to Birmingham to compete against hundreds of like-minded students, all vying for the business experts and Theo Paphitis nod of approval. The team representing Reddam will be announced early next week.

Win or lose the Ryman challenge helps to develop the key skills young people need for the world of work and shows them there is no limit to what can be achieved.

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