Schools keep eyes on the ‘enter-prize’

Left to right - Mackie Academy pupils Owen Weston, Aidan May and Jamie McCulloch
Left to right - Mackie Academy pupils Owen Weston, Aidan May and Jamie McCulloch

Food ingredients manufacturer Macphie has given local schools a taste for entrepreneurship as part of a 10-week enterprise challenge.

Launching earlier this year, 12 pupils from Mackie, Mearns and Portlethen academies were asked to develop a food product - using a Macphie bakery mix - and sell their wares, making sure they made a profit in the process.

The company ran masterclasses in finance, product development, marketing and production at its headquarters in Glenbervie, before handing £20 to each group to invest in packaging, ingredients or promotional activity.

At the end of the challenge, pupils returned to the boardroom to present to an interview panel of representatives from Macphie and Developing the Young Workforce – a government body aimed at bringing businesses together with the future workforce.

Each group explained how they used their investment, created and promoted their product before revealing their final sales figures. The winning team, boasting a final total of nearly £70 was McKookies which made and sold iced chocolate chip cookies.

The project forms part of Macphie’s wider partnerships with Mearns Academy and Mackie Academy, aiming to unleash participants’ latent talents and foster essential entrepreneurial thinking and in this instance, help the pupils achieve a Prince’s Trust qualification.

Macphie’s CSR and Engagement Executive Louise Shankley said: “We’ve been so impressed at the commitment the pupils have put into this challenge.

“I was pleased to see the teams putting quality and hygiene as a priority – ditching products that didn’t work out right, rather than selling them and creating a rota to keep prep areas clean and tidy.”

Mackie Academy teacher Janet Duncan added: “We are delighted with the opportunities our young people have been given while taking part in this enterprise project.

“Pupils from all three schools have been able to come together to work co-operatively in small teams in a real business environment.”