£1000 Raised In Dragon's Den 2022
How did thirty-seven 11-year old children manage to raise over £1000 for charity, all by themselves?! A six-week challenge, a trio of fearsome Dragons and an endless supply of energy and creativity led our Year 6 children to success in this year’s Dragon’s Den project.
Challenging the children to think about real-life applications and consider a business perspective, the Dragon’s Den at Greenfield is an enriching experience for the boys and girls in their final year at preparatory school, and is always highly anticipated.
In 2022, we ramped up the challenge for the Year 6s by furthering the real-world aspect of the project. This year, the children had to pitch their ideas to the Dragons in order to gain funding. Their goods would then be put into manufacture and then sold to the “public” (Greenfield children, staff and parents), with all profits going to the team’s chosen charity. The Dragons were expectedly tough and challenged the children on the viability and sustainability of their business plans.
The first stage was simple – come up with a product or service that you could feasibly design, produce and sell within the given timeframe; draw up a business plan and a winning pitch to present to the Dragons; then engineer your idea to perfection before going live at the Marketplace – all whilst being part of a well-oiled, harmonious team. What could possibly go wrong?
…We asked the children; 'What would you do differently if you could do it again?'
Lauren: …Next time, we would definitely spend less time on deciding what the product would be!
Oma: We could have simplified our ideas.
Daniel: Listen to each other more!
James: Making our decisions quicker.
CJ: Always remember - double check EVERYTHING when you are buying stuff, especially from Amazon or eBay!
Will C: We could try not to bicker so much about the small things
Jairaj: And not change our ideas so many times!
Will R: When faced with challenges (like Dragon's not giving the full amount) the most important thing is to keep pushing on – don’t let it get you down!
Some sage advice from Will R, applicable to even grown-up entrepreneurs on their business journeys we are sure! Whilst the Dragons – our Headmistress, our Deputy Head, and our Head of Marketing and Communications – were astounded by the immense level of detail and preparation in the children’s pitches, they were also thorough in their assessment of each pitch, which occasionally meant agreeing on a smaller start-up capital.
Once each team had the funds required for production they got to work on creating their products or services. From ordering materials, assembling their market stalls, putting together packaging, to even putting together a marketing campaign ahead of the marketplace, the Year 6s planned and oversaw the entire process from start to finish.
So how did they all get on? Let’s meet the teams:
Thinking about Spring coming up, this team planted seeds and sold them in decorative flower pots. Using a seed mixture especially attractive to bees and butterflies; Flower Power purchased biodegradable pots and offered a personalised option for their decorated pots.
Flower Power raised £138.22 for The Children’s Trust, to help support children with brain injuries and neuro-disabilities.
This group of five wanted a product with a broad appeal that could be easily customised and decided to offer a range of keyrings with themes across TV, films and book characters. Advance orders were also offered to customers; including the option to have a bespoke keyring made using a personalised image or text.
Catchy Keyrings raised £150.74 in total which was donated to Mind charity in support of their work with people who are struggling with mental health and have learning disabilities.
With the help of a few handy adults, this group sourced some all-natural log slices for coasters and prepared them beautifully for sale, including some tempting multi-sale offers. Offering the coasters simply varnished or with decorations and messages on them, the group managed to make their product appealing to a wide-range of people.
With the sales from their hand-made goods, the children raised £168 for MS Society, to further research and assist those with MS.
Roll up, roll up! Test your throwing abilities and win big – with plenty of fun prizes and lucky dip treats to be won, the Lucky Throw raised money through selling tickets and awarding prizes to the lucky winners. This simple yet effective game was beautifully constructed and appealed to young and old!
The children chose the charity UNICEF to support, and raised £124.06 for them.
Seeds 'n' Soil
Throw a seed bomb and watch it grow – this team created a fun and easy-to-use gift for the garden. By cleverly marketing their product as a gift, this team were able to make their product more appealing with creative, eco-friendly packaging.
With a wholly eco-friendly process, packaging and materials, Seeds ‘n’ Soil donated their £114.59 profits to the charity Greenpeace.
This team offered a colouring-in book and comic designed to promote mindfulness and wellbeing. Their products were fully recyclable and designed by the children to appeal to people of all ages.
With such low production costs, Mega Mindfulness raised a whopping £174.77 for Help for Heroes.
Compete for Causes
Tapping into the minds and wallets of competitive customers, Compete for Causes offered a football challenge against Greenfield’s ex semi-pro footballer, Mr Armstrong, where players tried to score a penalty.
With keyrings and branded teddy bears also on offer, Compete for Causes raised £167.95 for Sport in Mind, the UK’s leading mental health sports charity.
Through their diligent efforts throughout the process including effective marketing of their products around the school, the children altogether raised £1038.33 for their various charities. An important part of the process was their impact on their chosen charity; during their pitches the children estimated their minimum donation, researched what their money would go towards and explained their reasons why they were passionate about their chosen charity. We are so proud of the money that they were able to raise through the busy marketplace, with children bringing in their pocket money and parents and staff giving up their coins for one of the bespoke products (... or to test their sporting prowess!)
The children gained valuable insight into how businesses operate; experience working in a close-knit team, and practice decision-making.
...What did you enjoy most about the Dragon’s Den challenge?
Eva: Having total freedom of choice in what we did throughout the process.
Bea: Working with different people than usual.
Huw: It was a REAL-LIFE CHALLENGE!
Adil: It’s been a really good lesson for later on in life when I start my own business.
Purney: Experiencing things I've never done before.
Culminating in an event that brought our community together at the bustling marketplace (including some keen competitors vying to “beat the goalie”), the Dragon’s Den represented not only the hard work that is instilled at Greenfield, but above all our ethos of community, charity and maturity.