Business success: we’ve got it licked!

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A hundred and fifty Coleraine pupils aged 9 to 12 swapped the playground for the battleground when they went head to head against their teachers to design a new Sundae for Morelli’s in the ““Business Battleground - Ice-Cream Challenge”.

The one-day competition based on CBBC’s ‘Beat the Boss’ was the first of a series of “Schools are The Business” Programmes; developed by Causeway Enterprise Agency and funded by the Department for Social Development (DSD) through the Coleraine Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership (CNRP).

To facilitate the challenge CEA once again took over the entire entertainment complex at Kelly’s, Portrush and recruited the Morelli family as judges for the day.

Six teams of children from schools in Killowen, Ballysally and Millburn competed against a team of “bosses” comprised of their teachers and were challenged to come up with a product that fulfilled the brief set out by the judges.

The teams were set the task to ‘Design and Market the ultimate ice cream sundae for Morelli’s using new or unusual flavors and the theme for the challenge was “Pop”.

The day got off to a fantastic start when the pupils were treated to a debriefing session from Coleraine star of BBC’s Young Apprentice James McCullagh before being talked through the secrets of success in the Ice Cream Industry by Arnaldo Morelli.

Following the briefing session the teams all went off to their separate “battle rooms” to discuss strategy, design their sundae, develop their marketing plan and write their pitch. Each team worked with a business expert and one of the seven Morelli’s to come up with their winning pitch with the overall winners having their new Sundae featured on the menu at Morelli’s Portstewart.

Competition was fierce with such a highly coveted prize on offer. The pupils were thrilled at the prospect of beating their teachers and the teachers were equally determined not to be beaten by their pupils.

The teams each took to the stage in Lush to pitch their products and strategy to the judging panel in a scene we would normally associate with the X-Factor or Dragons Den.

The event ended with Damian Morelli presenting the “Wooden Spoon” prize to the teachers and awarding two schools the event winners.

The pupils from Ballysally Primary School and Coleraine College beat their bosses on the day and their Sundaes are now on sale in Morelli’s Portstewart which is a fantastic achievement for the children from these schools.

Jayne Taggart, Chief Executive of Causeway Enterprise Agency commented: “We are delighted to continue to work with DSD through the Coleraine Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership and we are collectively committed to support and encourage enterprise skills in Coleraine.

“This project was particularly exciting as we were so lucky to have such a famous, entrepreneurial family on board – this made the challenge all the more real for the teams. Through the challenge the children developed skills in self-belief, self-confidence, creativity and team work.

“The buzz of creativity and competition in Lush was amazing; you could tell that the children had a truly fantastic time and took a lot away from the day. Another rewarding factor is that the programmes we have developed for the Department for Social Development (DSD) and the Neighbourhood Renewal Areas in Coleraine are to be rolled out as best practice across all of Northern Irelands Neighbourhood Renewal Partnerships which is a testament to the positive impact these programmes are having on our young people’s lives. “