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Sixth form students in Lisnagarvey High School have been watching, “The Apprentice” not just to see how Lord Sugar points his finger at, as he fires them but also to gain little bits of inspiration for their own young enterprise venture.

Like The Apprentice, they are hoping to secure Lord Sugar’s financial support, the Lisnagarvey students have undertaken the establishment of a small business as part of their Business Studies A-Level. So far the group have attended the Trade Fair at St George’s Market, local car boot sales and sold their goods in school.

Mr Stuart Thompson, their teacher, is delighted with the enthusiastic response of the students but says that he is “not surprised because the maturity and quality of the talented team almost ensures that the business will be a success”.

Hannah Llewellyn-Jones speaking on behalf of the hard working group remembers the first ‘business meeting’ at which they had to discuss possible products.

“Some of our ideas were quite laughable but we were assured that this is ‘part of the course’ at any business brainstorming exercise.”

“Once we established a small list of seemingly creditable ventures we got down to the business of market research within the school and soon identified the product. Being initially aimed at a Christmas market the incentive to meet deadline dates was in-built.”

Mr Thompson gave his blessing to the ‘Seasonal Secrets’ project which involves production of little sleighs made out of candy canes and small boxes of chocolates. Whilst these are being produced to meet the thriving Christmas market, the Seasonal Secret product is proving to be a big hit.

A greeting designed by the team and purchased by pupils will be posted in a box in the entrance hall of the school and eventually delivered to the lucky recipient on the week before the Christmas holidays.

“We are delighted at the response” says Hannah. “We all bought shares in our company in order to purchase the raw materials and any associated production.

The students have agreed that the venture will continue beyond Christmas as profit will be ploughed back into the business  with ideas for St Valentine’s Day and Easter are already in the planning stage.

Mr Thompson is fairly certain that the company will remain in business until the end of upper sixth.

“When dividends are paid out I may be sorry that I didn’t invest more money in what looks like a very successful venture.”

“So far I haven’t had to point my finger at anyone and utter the famous Lord Sugar words, ”You’re Fired!”

Seasonal Secrets