Dragons' Apprentice Challenge Information
To read about the 2015/16 Challenge Awards Night, click here
Connect Dacorum runs an annual Dragons' Apprentice Challenge programme. The challenge recruits teams of school students (the Apprentices), assigns them a business mentor (a Dragon) and then pairs them with a local charity. The teams are given £100 and challenged to turn it into £1,000 or more. The Dragons provide advice and support to help their team achieve their business goal and funding target. Activities have included quizzes, dances, concerts, cake sales, market stalls, silent auctions, a casino, personal coaching and pop-up shops. All profits made by the teams go directly to their partner charity.
Connect Dacorum is now into its fifth year of running the challenge which is also being run throughout Hertfordshire. So far the Challenge has raised over £338,000 for local charities and community groups.
Participation in the Dragons' Apprentice Challenge offers a win-win opportunity for all parties involved, creating the opportunity for excellent partnerships between local community groups and charities, businesses and young people, creating a stronger community over the long term.
Schools and Apprentices – it provides a cost effective alternative to other schools-based enterprise challenges. It support the development of business and project management skills for young people and an opportunity to network with potential employers of the future and build contacts for work experience. It also provides excellent background to include on personal statements for UCAS applications and Duke of Edinburgh Awards and looks very good on a CV. It is also an innovative way of developing employability skills.
Businesses – It provides a structured means to promote and encourage engagement between charity/community groups, local businesses and schools. It helps raise the profile of your organisation and the third sector in the area and it is a great development tool for an employee's continual professional development.
Charities and community groups - It not only provides funding support which, for smaller organisations could be a substantial contribution to core costs, it also raises your profile and creates an opportunity to create long term partnerships with businesses and young people thus extending your network for volunteering and funding.