Reaseheath students pipped at the post in Barclays Money Skills final

An inspirational idea for a mobile phone app earned Reaseheath College, Nantwich, equine students second place in the national finals of a business enterprise competition.

Emily Bancroft and April Macleod, both 17, and 16 year-old Eve Baker presented their business plan before a panel of judges at the Barclays Bank Head Offices in Canary Wharf, London, last Friday (13 June). Fellow student Emma Penn, 17, also contributed to the idea but did not accompany the team to London.

Just eight entries out of over 400 were selected for the final, which was the culmination of Barclays ‘Built for Business’ competition. The challenge was one of a number of activities offered to all Reaseheath’s further education students during a week long  Barclays Money Skills programme, which helps young people to develop their money management, employability and enterprise skills..

The Level 3 Horse Management students suggested launching a mobile phone app which would notify them about timetable changes and outstanding assignments and offer an alternative communication with lecturers. Colleges, universities and schools would subscribe annually to the service, which would be available free for all students.

The team travelled to London to pitch their idea to judges including Chris Hearn, Head of Education at Barclays and Sylvia Perrins, CEO of The National Skills Academy for Financial Services, which supports the programme. They also joined other finalists at a careers workshop on CV writing and interview skills.

Reaseheath’s Level 3 equine students study business as part of their course. Explained Emily: “We decided to use what we’ve already learned to help students organise their life better. We decided a mobile app would be the best way of improving the flow of communication between students and their lecturers.”

Student Welfare Officer Carys Jones, who ran the Barclays Money Skills activities, said: “We were thrilled to have a Reaseheath team shortlisted for the final. Sadly our students were just pipped at the post, but they had a great chance to show off their entrepreneurial skills. Learning opportunities like these are completely in line with our own aim to make our students more employable and to provide them with skills for the future.”

This year 130 UK colleges have run a Barclays Money Skills ‘week’, with around 150,000 students taking part in money management, employability and enterprise themed activities. The programme is supported by over 520 Barclays’ staff volunteers, who work with the students on campus.