Skip to the content

Celebrating young entrepreneurship in Sheffield

BiG Challenge 2024 Award Winners
BiG Challenge 2024 Award Winners

Budding young entrepreneurs from across Sheffield were celebrated at the BiG Challenge Awards 2024, last night.

For the 17th consecutive year, the Awards celebrated the contributors and winners of this year’s annual enterprise competition.

The BiG Challenge sees young people from across Sheffield showcase their entrepreneurial spirit through a city-wide contest, where they are tasked with designing and developing their very own business.

The unique initiative, facilitated through Sheffield City Council’s See It Be It in Sheffield team, connects young people with employers and encourages them to think outside the box to develop a unique proposition.

It is launched in schools every September to Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils. This year, judges were challenged with choosing winners from 160 team entries across 15 Sheffield schools, involving over 500 young people.

Councillor Martin Smith, Chair of the Economic Development and Skills Committee at Sheffield City Council, said:

“Encouraging entrepreneurial skills and thinking in Sheffield’s young people is one of the main ambitions agreed in the Sheffield City Goals. 

“The BiG Challenge is unique to Sheffield and enables our young people to start this journey from age 11. This hands-on experience will help them to build business understanding, creativity and other skills needed if they were to run their own business in the future, or for future employment in general. These are all things we need in our growing local economy.”

With a startup loan of £25, each team is tasked with creating a business, which includes selling their products and services at the Moor Market in the city centre and pitching their ideas in a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style presentation.

Each award is sponsored by a different employer or business, who took to the stage to present their winners with a unique prize including work placement experiences to support students with their future careers.

Categories included: most creative use of technology, award for the biggest profit, sustainability, problem solving and best for teamwork.

The overall BiG Challenge Prize, sponsored by Sheffield City Council, was awarded to Shutter Scrubz, from Sheffield High School for Girls. Each team member was awarded a £500 Virgin Experience Voucher for their success. 

The team developed a business idea selling lip scrubs, body scrubs, rings and bath salts. They demonstrated brilliant teamwork skills in taking their idea to market and made the most of opportunities to make sales, have fun and learn new skills. They also made more then £600 in profit.

Many of the award sponsors are acting Business Ambassadors for See It Be It, who volunteer their time to mentor teams throughout the competition and regularly commit to offering valuable employer encounters to Sheffield schools.

Amongst the sponsors was Harvey Morton, who was responsible for awarding this year’s Award for Marketing and Sales. He said:

“Having suffered from bullying in school, this opportunity gave me something to work towards and put my energy into. My original idea as a student is now a successful business that grew from participating in the BiG Challenge and taking a chance on myself.

“I would encourage all those students to take up this opportunity, whether it’s in a group or on your own, as it will help to boost your confidence and give you a focus, plus you may even discover a talent you never knew you had along the way. If an idea doesn’t work, try something else, just don’t give up!”