This year a team of enterprising youngsters representing Manchester United triumphed in our Premier League Enterprise Challenge.

An enterprising team effort

Lucy, Corben, Rory, David and Liam, pictured above, are Year 9 pupils from The Swinton High School in Salford. Having formed a team that won their school competition during Global Entrepreneurship Week, they were selected to compete against ten other schools to win the chance to represent Manchester United in the Premier League Enterprise Challenge, which is run in partnership with Sport Relief. They rose to this challenge and were chosen to represent Manchester United.

Finalists for Swansea City

Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore set the brief - to formulate fully costed plans to encourage fans to spend more time at the stadiums on match days. The team then worked tirelessly to progress through to the play-offs, staying late after school and going to workshops to hone their skills.

The Swinton High School team’s innovative idea was called ‘Transfer Foods’ and involved creating special dishes from the home countries of Manchester United’s new signings, as well as fanzone marquees being put up outside Old Trafford before kick-off.

The experience has really boosted my confidence and I’m starting to think about jobs I could do in the future.”
Lucy, Premier League Enterprise winning team member

Manchester United Group Managing Director Richard Arnold was so impressed that he invited the group to the stadium to work with the Head of Catering and Head Chef to make their idea a reality. Their German menu inspired by the signing of Bastian Schweinsteiger was served across the executive boxes at Old Trafford at a match even before the team presented at the Premier League Enterprise Challenge final.

Team member Lucy said, “It's been such a great experience. I have learnt so much. Everyone's confidence has grown, we've learnt how to manage difficult questions, how to speak in front of large crowds as well as the business side of things. The experience has really boosted my confidence and I’m starting to think about jobs I could do in the future.”

The team’s final big presentation involved pitching their idea to the judges, who included Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis and former footballer Graeme Le Saux. They were up against teams from schools representing Swansea City, Everton, Middlesbrough, Norwich City and West Ham United in a hard-fought final – but happily emerged as winners. Lucy pointed to the team effort as being a vital factor.

“The key thing has been working as a team because if we didn't have the link we all have with each other, then it would have been much harder. I didn't think we would grow this much. I am so happy that we have.”

The Premier League Enterprise Challenge began in 2009 and focuses on children at risk of not reaching their full potential. This season 29 Premier League and English Football League clubs were represented, with 1,251 young people from 153 schools taking part.