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Marking Scheme for Student Enterprise Awards

The Student Enterprise Awards is a national initiative organised by the Local Enterprise Offices, which aims to foster an enterprise culture among second level students. It is a practical programme that appeals to students of all abilities.  Students, like all good entrepreneurs, will discuss their ideas and seek advise from others, however it is important that the report submitted and products & services developed as part of the initiative are indeed the work of the students.  


This ensures fairness for all students involved in the programme.   Judges will endeavour to satisfy themselves that each entry represents the student's own work.  Where there is evidence of undue outside influence this will be taken into consideration in the marking of any individual project.  The judges' decision in this matter is final.


It is important to consider how projects are marked when planning your project, carrying out research, preparing your report etc. These notes, for teachers and students, are intended as guidance only.  The judging criteria and marks available, vary for each of the competition categoriesPlease see the marking scheme for a full breakdown. 


Marks in this section are awarded for outlining the methods used for ideas generation, the level of innovation of the product or service, or innovative methods used for marketing or selling of the product or service.  In addition marks are awarded for product or service research & development. 


Tell them where you got the idea and how you made it your own. What did you do that was different to somebody in a similar business.


Marks will be awarded for evidence of market research including questionnaires, findings etc.  In addition students should have a clearly defined marketing plan and evidence of how the marketing plan has been and continues to be refined to meet customer requirements in response to the market research findings.


Remember that marketing is about getting people to want to buy your product and selling is about gettng them to actually buy it.  Explain how you made your product appealing and how you made sure that people would want to part  with their money for it.


Judges will be checking on the quality of the product or service.  If it is a product it should be appealing, well finished, with good quality control procedures in place and appropriate for its intended use.  If it is a service business then it is important to show consistent high quality of delivery of the service and what checks are in place to guarantee this.


Did you do quality checks on the product? Quality control reports should be included so that you can show what changes needed to be made to the product to make sure it was of good quality.  This shows that you thought about giving good value for money and thought maybe about safety aspects of what you were selling.


Marks will be awarded for sales made during the academic year of the business.  

Business Report

Marks are awarded for demonstrating the business structure used and the role each person played in the business.  Charts are, for example, a good way of illustrating this. While Business performance is very important for all entrepreneurs, the Student Enterprise Awards do not allocate a high number of marks in this section.

This is to ensure that there is no disadvantage to any student with an innovative product/service, and also that no advantage is gained by any student who might consider inflating the figures in relation to performance.  All business will experience some difficulties.  Marks are awarded for demonstrating how these difficulties were overcome.

You are the only person who knows what was involved and what problems were overcome and what gave a great sense of achievement and only you can therefore tell the story for the judges to read so remember to tell it how it was


This is a very important section of the report.  Marks will be awarded for a forecast or budget showing the projected income and expenditure for the business.


This does not have to match with the actual performance of the business, however students should identify where and how the differences arose. Marks are also awarded for clearly showing how the product or service was priced and also for a profit & loss account showing the actual performance of the business.


Forecasting is about telling how much money you might make if you continued to run the business for a little while extra and this can actually be quite easily done if you give it a go. Often marks are not awarded because this is not done.

Exhibition Stand & Interview

Marks are awarded for visual display, as it is very important and creates an overall impression of the business. There is a special prize awarded for best display.


Marks are also awarded for techniques used, this might include a very brief PowerPoint presentation, use of video, CD Player, demonstrations etc. 


In addition, marks are awarded for interview skills.  The purpose of the interview is to determine the students knowledge of the project, business and life skills developed, and in the case of groups, how they worked together.

Motivation/Learning Experience

Students who learned from the experience will be motivated.  The learning for each student will vary.  Students should demonstrate what they learned from their experience of Student Enterprise Awards.


We know that the whole process creates challenges and you should tell the story as it was as this is what the judges expect and what they give marks for.

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