VolkerLaser does Dragon's Den

Recently, three colleagues from VolkerLaser joined a team from the accounting firm, Grant Thornton UK LLP, to volunteer for the day at a school in Birmingham.  

GT day group photo.jpg
GT day group photo.jpg

Grant Thornton approached VolkerLaser for support in running their School Enterprise Programme at Shireland Collegiate Academy in Smethwick. The programme gives students an opportunity to run their own microbusiness and develop financial and entrepreneurial skills through real-life experience. They can then take the profits generated and invest in entrepreneurs’ businesses in the developing world.

Ashley Ford, James Skelding and Kelly Harding from VolkerLaser all signed up for the opportunity to act as teachers for the enterprise workshop day. Following three preparation lessons, the students were ready when the volunteers attended Shireland on Wednesday 19 April. Using collaboration and teamwork, the year seven students were challenged to generate business ideas with their peers and to pitch their chosen business model to the class in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style presentation at the end of the day.

The team of volunteers from both businesses facilitated the workshop day for nine classes, with a winning pitch and band of budding entrepreneurs selected from each class and announced in a celebratory assembly at the end of the day.

James Skelding said: “The enterprise day at Shireland Collegiate was an enriching experience. I was especially impressed by the engaging and entertaining presentations created by the pupils.”

Ashley Ford said: “It was a really enjoyable day working with Grant Thornton for their School Enterprise Programme. Hopefully the kids enjoyed the change from their day-to-day lessons and saw some benefit from getting a small taster of the working world.”

James Ryczanowski, corporate finance manager for Grant Thornton, said: “It was a pleasure to partner with VolkerLaser to deliver the Grant Thornton School Enterprise Programme. Having volunteers from a range of backgrounds and industries helps to expand the students’ minds as they think about the world of work. We look forward to partnering with VolkerLaser again next year!”