Schools from across Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire were represented at the semi-final of Cranfield School of Management’s Schools Business Challenge on 8 September.

Sixth-formers from Harlington, Sharnbrook, Walton High, Shenley Brook End, Biddenham, Hazeley and Lord Grey schools were tasked with submitting a business plan and forecast for a business simulation, competing for a place in the final and a prize of £1,500.

The students were supported by non-executive director – roles taken on by local business managers from Santander and current students from Cranfield’s MBA programme. 

Mohammed Ali from Santander gave the sixth-formers a great overview of the role of banks and encouraged them to pursue their goals without fear of being rejected by lenders.

Run by Cranfield’s Centre for Customised Executive Development (CCED), the Schools Business Challenge is in its twentieth year. Stepping into the shoes of a business leader encouraged students to develop and practice essential and transferrable skills. These included strong team involvement, strategic direction, forecasting, resilience and acting sustainably.

The hard-fought semi-final was finally won by Lord Grey and Harlington Upper School who go through to the finals at Cranfield School of Management in December. 

Karen Valverde, Business Simulations Director, commented: “It was great to welcome back talented students from schools across Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The teams, although under very tight time pressures, managed terrifically well to keep their composure, keep on track and show real business potential. We can be encouraged that our futures are in good hands. 

“The challenge is an ideal way for students to experience working in a business with first hand guidance from mentors from the corporate world.” 

About Cranfield University

Cranfield has been a world leader in management education and research for over 50 years, helping individuals and organisations learn and succeed by transforming knowledge into action. We are dedicated to creating responsible management thinking, improving business performance and inspiring the next generation of business leaders. We work to change the lives of our students and executives by encouraging innovation and creative thinking, as well as the drive to succeed and make a real impact on their organisations.

Organisations as diverse as Jaguar Land Rover, BAE Systems, Royal Dutch Shell, L’Oréal, UNICEF and the African Development Bank have benefited from our work, which ranges from management research projects, through staff talent management development on our MBA courses, to customised executive programmes.

Cranfield is one of an elite group of Schools worldwide to hold the triple accreditation of: AACSB International (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System) and AMBA (the Association of MBAs).

We are in the Top 10 International Business Schools in the Forbes’ ranking.

Our open and customised executive education programmes are ranked in the top five in the UK, according to the latest Financial Times survey, and in the top ten in the world for international reach. Over 10,000 people come to Cranfield each year to benefit from our executive and professional development programmes.