Writing Your Business Report
Knowing what the judges are looking for is a very good tool in setting out your report and the marking scheme is very clear and transparent which is designed to make it fair for everybody involved in the Awards.
You need to remember that the judges get a copy of your report before they ever meet you and your job is to try to anticipate their questions so that you can answer those questions clearly.
Even those who do not make huge profits can still win!
As you do your report you should read carefully how the marks are awarded in each section – do you know for example how many marks are awarded for Innovation versus Personal Development?
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 judge's decision in this matter is final.
These notes are intended as guidance only, for teachers, students & judges. It is important to consider how projects are marked when planning your project, preparing your report, carrying out research etc.
Download the Marking Form. The total overall marks awarded are 250 and they are divided as follows:
1. Product/Service 50 Marks
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.
2. Marketing 30 Marks
Remember your market research directs your marketing plan. 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.
3. Innovation. 50 Marks
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.
4. Sales. 20 Marks
Marks will be awarded on the level of revenue generated by students through sales of their product/service in this category. If a Student Enterprise demonstrates a high level of innovation without adequate sales, they will lose marks in this section of the marking scheme.
5. Business Report 30 Marks
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 only awards ten 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.
6. Finances 20 Marks
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.
7. Exhibition Stand & Interview 30 Marks
The visual display is awarded ten marks, however it is very important as it creates an overall impression of the business and there is a special prize awarded for best display. Ten marks are awarded for techniques used, this might include very brief PowerPoint presentation, use of video, CD Player, demonstrations etc. 10 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.
8. Personal Development 20 Marks
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.
Overall Marks: 250