26th January 2017
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has announced the return of its flagship enterprise competition for the thirteenth year running. The Real Business Challenge, which starts this week and is part of CCEP’s national education programme, is celebrating its most popular year to date with over 1,000 schools entering across Great Britain.
This year’s competition will see students aged 13-15 put their business skills and creativity to the test at 11 regional final events, running between 24th January and 10th February.
Teams will develop an awareness campaign to support the Special Olympics GB National Games held this summer in Sheffield, designed to raise awareness and funds for the charity through a series of practical challenges. CCEP volunteers will act as business advisors, mentoring the teams and giving encouragement and professional advice, before they present their ideas to an independent panel of judges from the worlds of business, charity and further education.
Winners of the regional finals will be awarded £1,000 for their school, as well as individual vouchers worth £25 for each student on the team. From the 11 regional winning schools, the overall champions will be announced on 14th March following a dedicated judging day. As part of their prize they will be invited to an employability workshop at CCEP’s Head Office in Uxbridge, to further develop skills gained during the competition.
The Real Business Challenge supports CCEP’s ongoing commitment to inspiring and educating young people by giving them the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities with real outcomes, all designed to develop the skills needed for a competitive edge in the job market. Regional winners will also see their campaigns come to life in real-life advertising boards across their local areas later this year.
Gina Solimeno, Education Programme Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners, said: “Here at CCEP, we’re committed to supporting the education and development of young talent across Great Britain. The Real Business Challenge has reached over half a million students across Great Britain to date, including some 100,000 this year alone. We understand the importance of learning through experience. It is our aim that the range of hands-on activities students undertake throughout the challenges will help educate, inspire and motivate them, as well as give them valuable insights into the world of work. We’re always impressed by the skill and creativity on show from the students during the competition, and the enthusiasm they share with us in supporting Special Olympics GB through their campaigns.”
Karen Wallin, CEO for Special Olympics Great Britain, added: “Special Olympics GB is thrilled to partner with Coca-Cola European Partners once again to further raise awareness and support for our charity and the forthcoming National Summer Games in Sheffield through The Real Business Challenge. In less than 200 days, around 2,600 Special Olympics GB athletes with learning disabilities will be in Sheffield to take part in our National Games across 20 different sports.
“It will be a celebration of sport, human spirit and personal best achievement and we can’t wait to see the projects which will be produced by the young people who participate in this brilliant initiative from Coca-Cola European Partners. To have this platform and ability to communicate Special Olympics GB’s movement and message to young people in schools across the UK through The Real Business Challenge is always an exciting prospect for our whole organisation. We are always inspired by the campaigns we see and it is genuinely exciting to see what the schools create during this year’s challenge.”