The BiG Challenge

Kate Josephs with one of the winners - Torched Views

For the 16th consecutive year, the BiG Challenge Awards 2023 celebrated the successful prize-winning teams selected from 280 team entries across 19 Sheffield schools for their impressive entrepreneurial submissions.

The BiG Challenge is an annual enterprise competition facilitated through Sheffield City Council’s See It Be It in Sheffield Team and is open to all Y7-Y9 students. With a startup loan of £25, each team designs and develops a business which includes selling their products and services at the Moor Markets and pitching their ideas in a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style presentation to decide the overall winner.

The event was held at OEC Sheffield on 30th March 2023, with special guests including Dame Julie Kenny, Master Cutler; Lt Colonel R A McPherson MBE, High Sheriff of South Yorkshire; Deputy Lord Mayor of Sheffield Cllr Colin Ross; Lady Mayoress Jackie Satur, and Kate Josephs CB, Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council, who presented the overall winning prize.

Award sponsors from local businesses took to the stage to present prizes to the most outstanding teams, covering a range of categories including innovation, use of technology, visual media, and sustainability. Many of the sponsors are acting Business Ambassadors for See It Be It who volunteered 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 the Marketing & Sales prize. In his speech announcing the winners, 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!”

Kate Josephs with one of the winners - By the Sea
Open House Pictures with Seven Hills team

Due to the exceptional efforts from the teams involved, the volunteers for the ‘Dragons’ Den’ pitches decided to award two teams with the BiG Prize for Outstanding Achievement. Congratulations to By the Sea from High Storrs School and Torched Views from Holgate Meadows.

Halima and Mia from By the Sea accrued an impressive profit of £202 by selling their handmade decoupage trinket dishes made from real shells, collected from UK beaches and locally sourced from fishmongers. 10% of their profit was donated to WWF’s sustainable fishing charity.

Malachi from Torched Views made an outstanding £153 profit from his framed prints and cards of photographs taken and edited himself. His customers included Action for Children, who will be using his products as greetings cards with a view to purchase more in the future.

Reflecting on her experience as a volunteer and the impressive submissions judged, Jill White from Andy Hanselman Consulting said: “This year has truly been an outstanding set of students, but for us as Dragons, one thing that really stood out across all the participants this year was Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainability and environmental awareness – this is very encouraging for us to see and hear from our young people.

Originality, creativity, passion and love is what made our two winning teams standout this year.”

Winners with various Sheffield dignitaries