Premier League Enterprise Academy

Thursday 11th October saw enterprising students from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy venturing away from school across to Newcastle United FC as part of their involvement in the Premier League Enterprise Academy scheme.

The St James’ Park stadium played host to the semi-finals of the annual Premier League Enterprise Challenge; a prestigious event aimed at helping 14-16-year-olds understand the basic principles of business and enterprise through a range of interactive learning opportunities within the business of football. The focus for this year’s challenge centered on the topic of improving customer service and was set by Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore.

Competing against teams from nine other Premier League and Championship Clubs from across the north of England, the Blackburn Rovers contingent was made up of five Year 9 Business Studies students from DACA who were chosen to represent the Club after showing great interest in enterprise and entrepreneurship in their coursework back at school. Catherine Jermyn, Programme Tutor and PLEA Co-ordinator for Blackburn Rovers Community Trust said, “Staff and students at DACA have long been supportive of the work of the Community Trust, so it seemed like a fantastic opportunity for a specialist school for enterprise to be chosen to represent Blackburn Rovers at such a prestigeous occasion. The students were inspirational and worked exceptionally hard in preparation for the challenge. They presented both themselves and their ideas with enthusiasm and intelligence.”

In order progress through to the final all competing teams were required to deliver a five-minute presentation to a panel of industry expert judges from within the world of football as well as a 100-strong audience of their peers and teachers. Students then took part in a three-minute question and answer session, guided by the panel, before settling back to relax and enjoy the presentations from rival Clubs.

The idea pitched by the Rovers representatives focused on the concept of introducing a text-based survey as a way to collate the ideas of supporters during matches. Feedback from the judges heaped praise on the team for taking centre stage first, and for demonstrating evidence of strong market research and realistic financial projections. Unfortunately though, on this occasion, they narrowly missed out on the final, which is to be held in London during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November, but took a great deal from the experience which they enjoyed immensely.