"The Experience" links local businesses or charities who have business problems with highschool who want to help solve those problems, helping them build employable skills.
This work experience program could run as an elective subject or afterschool club program.
Step 1: The BriefTeachers and students work with local businesses to build a business brief. The brief would include the specific business problem that needs to be addressed. Information about the businesses key stakeholders / customers / profit areas / costs etc. Any information that the business thinks will aid the students (eg: P&L Statements / consumer breakdowns - note, this will be difficult give confidentiality issues.
Includes an excursion to the business - to see how it actually works.
Step 2: Mapping out the business model
Students work together to map out the company's business model and highlight any areas for improvement.
Step 3: Splitting off into teams
Students split off into teams to address different business issues. They research different ways to help build the business and come up with possible sollutions. Students are able to conduct market research, prototype and iterate different solutions and run financial models.
During this phase, there is an opportunity to bring in community business leaders to help students come to grips with different business problems. Teachers or mentors will also be able to run lessons about specific skills (eg: how to build a financial model).
In this example, various teams address:
- Diversifying Rebecca's Bagels' channels (eg: creating a delivery service for nearby office workers / creating a pop up cart in the nearby train station / creating on-brand partnerships with other companies in the shopping mall )
- Increasing Rebecca's Bagels' marketing efforts (eg: creating marketing and social media campaigns)
- Increasing Rebecca's Bagels' product offering (eg: trying to develop new flavours / appealing to a specific group (eg: people with allergies) / finding a new product that works well with bagels)
Step 4: Pitch DayTeams pitch their best ideas to their teachers and to the business ower, who is able to take those ideas and use them to build their business. This stage will also help student's hone their public speaking, selling and presenting skills.
The business owner can sit down with all teams and offer them useful feedback.
The winning team could also participate in work experience during a holiday at the business, giving them the opportunity to help put their idea into action.