The Goal Programme is a national initiative run by the University of Warwick. Goal works with gifted and talented high school students between years 10 and 13. Members are amongst the most academically able in the country but come from backgrounds with no direct connection to higher education and/or live in areas designed by the government as being ‘low participation’ for higher education.
Our major engagement for our year 10 members is The Big Deal, an enterprise competition that allows teams of 2-4 students to develop an original business idea into a fully-rounded business plan (for either a for-profit business or a social enterprise), complete with pitch. Teams will come back to the University of Warwick on July 5th to present their ideas to a panel of academics and business people. They have everything to work for: the grand prize is an all-expenses paid business trip to Milan and Venice.
The critical element of this competition, however, is the mentoring teams receive. Each team is paired with a mentor drawn from the UK’s business community. Mentors (who in the past have come from companies representing a diverse range of sectors, including Rolls-Royce, Barclays, and Eversheds) provide teams with access to their business experiences and advise the teams on how best to translate their ideas into a well-considered plan and presentation. Mentoring, after an initial face-to-face meeting, is done via a bespoke e-mentoring platform developed by the Brightside Trust. Training is provided and support given throughout the process.
Of the mentors currently involved with The Big Deal 2012, two thirds have returned to mentor a second (or, in one case, third) time, citing not only their enjoyment of the process, but also how rewarding they found working with this group of students.
Further information on The Big Deal can be found here.
We hope that as many local alumni will want to get involved and share the benefits of their experience. If you would like any more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.