Last week we were proud to be part of Gander and Seashell Trust’s business challenge.

The two organisations joined forces for this ‘The Apprentice’ style search for business leaders of the future, which also had the added benefit of raising funding for the charity.

For those that don’t know, Gander brings business and education together by matching the two for a wide range of opportunities including careers sampling, interview preparation and mentoring. Seashell Trust is a charity which supports children and young adults with complex learning disabilities and additional communication needs at their outstanding residential school and college in Cheadle Hulme.

The challenge, which was coordinated by Gander, saw teams of students from Aquinas, Cheadle & Marple and Stockport College receive a seed fund of £50 from Seashell Trust which they used to come up with a creative business idea to make as much money as possible in an allotted time. Each group was allocated a mentor from the local business community to help them with the project.

This all took place late last year, but last week was a culmination of the competition as the seven groups of students had to deliver presentations about what they had achieved to a panel of judges (of which our own Brian Bradley was one!)

It was a fantastic afternoon, every single group did well to present confidently not only to us five ‘dragons’ but also in front of around 50 of their peers who were all watching on eagerly from the side-lines.

There were some brilliant ideas, ranging from cake sales to quiz and film nights and everything in between. A total of £787.00 was raised for Seashell Trust but even more importantly the students at these colleges are now aware of this fantastic local cause and really took it to heart to work hard on behalf of the charity – that was great to see!

The overall winners on the day were a group from Aquinas called Solarium who did fantastically well; the presentation was slick, the business idea was solid, and the proof was in the pudding as they made a healthy profit. Shout out to Michelle Hay who mentored the winning team!

A special mention must go to Team Elevations from Stockport College, they were very impressive and their business idea generated the highest income for Seashell Trust.

Well done to all involved!