Inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs at Sandy Secondary School

From left, Sam Squire Lead Ignition Coach (24), Mennel Welch entrepreneur, and Lewis Davis

Today, Ignition Coach Sam Squire had the absolute pleasure of visiting Sandy Secondary School, where he witnessed 51 Year 10 pupils pitch their brilliant business ideas. 

We couldn’t be prouder to have been invited to be part of the school’s Idea Generation and Pitch Building Process, which is part of this year’s BTEC and next year’s T-Level curriculums. This positive relationship with Sandy Secondary School and forward-thinking teacher Mr Davis, allows us to embed our entrepreneurial experiences within their environment.

It’s it was great to have you in and all the kids have been buzzing since Monday!

During the individual pitches, which lasted just five minutes each, the young people demonstrated an impressive understanding of their mission, vision, values, financial literacy, financial forecasting, and brand promise. Sam was blown away by the creativity and innovation they showed in the business ideas.

Impressive creativity and innovation

One young person even brought their own jerk chicken and mac and cheese to the pitch, a bold move that showed true commitment and dedication to their business idea. We are currently exploring the possibility of linking them to offer them a stall at the street food festival.

We were also delighted to have Mennel Welch, the owner of Welch Bakes and our neighbour in Cross Keys Mall, join us for the event. Having originally been the main contact who advocated us and our work to the school, we are grateful for his support (and of course for his incredible cinnamon buns and sausage rolls which literally power our work).

During the event, I found it fascinating that the young entrepreneurs consistently emphasised the importance of personal characteristics like creativity, teamwork, and resilience over specific skills when discussing how to bring their business ideas to life. We have already started to change the narrative around 'characteristics not skills' and 'story not career' and it was brilliant to see the young people's mindset shift. It was truly inspiring to witness the positive impact that feedback had on the students' confidence and self-perception. Many of them started out feeling nervous, but after their pitches and receiving encouraging feedback, they left the event transformed.

We are incredibly proud of the 51 young pitchers, and we are excited to see what the future holds for them. It was an honour to be part of their journey, and we look forward to continuing to support and embed our entrepreneurial experiences within Sandy Secondary School.


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  • Watch Sam in action on the Curious Entrepreneur podcasts
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