STUDENTS in Huddersfield have been challenged to do battle – to find the best business brains.
Sixteen to nineteen-year-olds in the town and across West Yorkshire are invited to take part in Umph! – a new competition to hone young people’s entrepreneurial flair.
The competition will take place on June 16 at the Galpharm Stadium where teams of four from schools, sixth forms and further education colleges across the Leeds City Region will compete in a virtual business game.
SimVenture is a multi-award winning virtual game designed and supported by business experts that mirrors the reality of running a business.
The simulation replicates what it’s like to start a business from scratch – from sorting out the finances and hiring and firing to putting together a sales and marketing strategy.
Umph! has been devised by financial advisers Grant Thornton.
It is part of the firm’s Educate to Innovate programme which aims to create strong links between businesses and education in Yorkshire.
Sandra O’Neill, head of business development at Grant Thornton in Leeds, said: “Umph! is a really exciting competition that aims to inspire students and channel their creative energy in such a way to help their appetite for business and employability.
“There is a lot of doom and gloom for young people with downcast employment figures and an embattled economy.
“We’re asking teenagers to use their ‘Umph’ and learn how to take positive steps to creating their own futures. It’s about creating a focus for the business brains of tomorrow.”
Winners will receive an iPad, a personal copy of SimVenture and the Umph! 2011 Trophy. A special prize will also be presented to the person showing the most enterprising flair on the day.
The competition is being sponsored by Huddersfield Town, Kirklees College, Kirklees Council, Huddersfield University, Fantastic Media, Lick Group and Sainsbury’s.
The day will also feature some of the region’s best known entrepreneurs delivering inspirational speeches about employment and entrepreneurship.
Sandra added: “Umph! is all about shaking things up, being innovative and engaging young business minds.
“Innovation is one of the key messages for the region in these post-recessionary times when we’re facing huge spending cuts in the public sector.
“School leavers face a tough time with rising unemployment and expensive university fees.
“We believe passionately in nurturing young entrepreneurial minds who are crucial to ensuring Yorkshire’s future is a bright one.”
SimVenture was established by York-based brothers Paul and Peter Harrington.
The company specialises in developing and providing business simulation software to allow people to create and run their own virtual company.
The software is used internationally in schools, colleges and universities.
The competition is open to 16 to 19-year-olds living in the Leeds City Region covering Kirklees, Calderdale, Barnsley, Bradford, Craven, Harrogate, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York or North Yorkshire County Council.
Sign up your team of four online at www.umph.uk.com. Only one team per institution can enter the competition. The deadline for entries is March 31, 2011.