Maryport C of E Junior School

The first meeting — December 2016

Chris Sutcliffe from our partner company Iggesund, visited the school and worked with the children who were going to be involved in this year's Bright Stars Enterprise Competition. The meeting was invaluable, as Chris taught the team about lots of different industries and services that were available to us. He then gave us a business plan template and we worked in groups to plan different aspects of this year's business ideas. The session was very productive and worthwhile. We would like to thank Chris for taking time to come in and work with us.

Week One

This week we had to hit the ground running and start production. We knew that Valentine's Day was going to be one of the main selling points for us, so after looking at a range of designs, we started making some products. We are making cards for the day and also some heart chains, painted wooden love hearts and also some boxes that are filled with one Rolo... Do you love anyone enough to give them your last Rolo? We will sell these to children and adults, as well as run a paid secret delivery service around school. We also realised that many of the Valentine's Day designs could be adapted to make mother's day cards too.

We also typed up our business plan this week.

Week Two

Today we have had a group meeting about activities for the upcoming 2 months including the Sprig Fayre and the selling of the Valentine's Day merchandise. Our initial idea of running a disco to celebrate Valentines will no longer be able to go ahead as our school is doing Rock Challenge this year and they have already pencilled in a couple of dates for fundraising activities. We don't want to ask parents for too much money, so we had to rethink our approach. We realise that people in the real business world often have these problems, so we have adapted our business plan accordingly.

We also discussed about other merchandise that we could possibly sell and considered how easy and economically achievable it would be to sell products that supported the Rock Challenge theme.

Week Three

This week we did more work on the Valentines products e.g. heart chains and button cards to sell at our Spring Fayre which we also organised this week. Children have also started making posters and cards for the stalls for the Spring Fayre. We have also asked Mrs Penn in the office to advertise the Spring Fayre on the school newsletter next week so that parents have lots of notice.

Week Four — Wednesday 8th February

Some last minute preparations have been taking place for our upcoming sale of Valentines products. The children were a busy making and organising things ready for Monday.

In further news, we have also decided (finally) on our company name. We will be called MJS Enterprise, with a ship as our logo. This was a great idea from one of the group, incorporating the competition but also our locality and Maryport's history of shipbuilding.

Week Five — Monday 13th February

Today we started selling our products and took some orders ready for tomorrow too. The cost of making our products has been approximately £6 as we have used lots of things that we already had to hand. On day one, we made in excess of £40, which is a great profit margin. We hope our other ideas prove to be just as successful! See the photos of our company workers and stall today! A great success!

We were really pleased with the outcome of our Valentines Sale. In total, we made £92 on sales, which was much more than we could have imagined.

We have also received two vouchers from Iggesund this week as a donation towards our Spring Fayre Raffle prizes. We are really thankful that Chris was able to sort this out for us. Two of our team also wrote letters to send to local companies, asking for raffle prize donations.

We held a meeting as a team and shortlisted a range of charities that we would like our donation to go towards at the end of the charity. This shortlist was then sent to all the classes in school and voted for. The children of the school have spoken and decided that this year's charity will be Cancer Research UK.

We have got in touch with Cancer Research to let them know about our company and its intention to donate to the charity. We have also asked if they have any fundraising games that we could use at the Spring Fayre.

We have also finally come up with our company name and logo. We will be called MJS Enterprise, incorporating the theme of Bright Stars, with the history of ship building in Maryport.

Week Eight

This final week has been an extremely busy one for MJS Enterprise. We have been taking orders for bracelets that we are making and selling. These have been quite popular and we hope to take some more orders for these towards the end of the week.

We have also been preparing everything ready for our Spring Fayre, which is what we are doing to mark the end of our Bright Stars Enterprise experience. All of the team have worked hard to prepare the stalls. We are having a book sale, a bring and buy stall, a tombola, some games for children to play, a decorating pace egg stand, guess the name of the teddy, guess the number of sweets in a jar and Miss Dover has volunteered to make cake pops to decorate, which has proved to be an incredibly popular decision by all children involved. There will also be a stand that will be selling the products that we have been making as a group. We can't wait to share photos with you when the Fayre is set up.

We have been very fortunate to have very supportive parents and community. As a result, we have had some lovely prizes for the raffle. Also, many parents have bought tickets to get a 'Cuppa and a Cake' when they attend the Fayre.

Also this week, the children have been selling tickets to pupils who want to take part in our Easter Egg Draw. They have charged a very reasonable 20p a ticket for children to have a chance of winning.

We have also been in touch with our Cancer Research supporter from the charity who is called Lorraine. She is sending us some balloons and banners to help dress the Cancer Research stand that will be in the Spring Fayre.

This has been another exciting and extremely busy journey for us, but we are very proud of ourselves and the things that we have achieved.

Today was our final day of the Bright Stars event. We had decided to complete the experience with a Spring Fayre. Parents and grandparents were invited to attend. The enterprise team worked incredibly hard putting everything together.

A huge thank you to all parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and others in helping us to put everything together. Without them, it would not have been such a huge success.

Here are some photos from today's successful event...