Inspired Ideas: Working Hand-In Hand with Local Businesses

Each year, our Sixth Formers take part in a Business Enterprise initiative called ‘Inspired Ideas’, a concept designed to bring local organisations with genuine business issues  to work alongside enthusiastic, bright students in order to come up with viable solutions – all within the timeframe of just one week.

Companies working with our students over the last few years have included: Coombe Wood Golf Club, Pizza Express, Ronald McDonald House Charity, Kingston In Bloom, The Rose Theatre, Hampton Court Palace, The Bingham Hotel and Kingston Museum.


Based primarily within the grounds of Roehampton University, students are placed in groups and assigned to a particular organisation. Getting their thoughts around their individual business briefs is always the first task to tackle and the following day they then get the chance to visit their ‘clients’ on site, to gain a better feel for the organisation and the business itself.

In reality, the students only have two full days to go away and come up with informed solutions to their brief, which can include a wide variety of tasks across the differing businesses, including anything from re-branding the business, increasing text donations for charity, changing perceptions about apprenticeships - to how to engage with teenagers effectively, creating audio recordings for museum use and launching a Borough wide competition.

At the end of the week, each student group then has to present their ideas to a panel of external judges. Sixth Form teams are judged not only on the viability of their ideas, but the professional and creative manner in which they present them. Suffice to say, our Sixth Formers gain a huge amount of valuable experience from the initiative and develop many vital skills that they will then be able to use in the workplace, once they complete their studies. And as for the local businesses, they always seem thrilled with the ideas our students come up with to help them!

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