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Future Business Leaders Session 3 – Entrepreneurship at Amazon London

The third session of our Future Business Leaders Programme saw our group of students from partner schools in London visit Amazon’s offices for an afternoon of workshops themed around entrepreneurship.

Delivered in partnership with Future Foundations, attendees first took part in a warm up designed to encourage them to consider different types of consumer behaviour. They had to communicate effectively in grouping themselves in certain numbers and making shapes of various items including a toaster, 90s computer and a plant pot. Students learned of the difference between those that lead, think quickly and organise others and those who wait to see what others do before following and consider how business might target these consumers differently.

The group learned about different business models, and how global organisations such as Uber, Instagram and Snapchat make money, comparing them to some smaller social enterprises such as oddbox as well as schools and charities. Inspired by this, our students were then split into groups and tasked with using their creative and entrepreneurship skills in coming up with two business ideas with supporting business plans. They needed to determine what problem their business would solve, who their target market was, their revenue streams, unique selling points, and future development opportunities. Each team pitched their strongest business idea to a group of Amazon judges who were tasked with evaluating their ideas, providing feedback and announcing one winner.

Team One wanted to design an app that would require the user to input their measurements before advising them on what size of clothes they would need from a range of high street and online brands, thus reducing the need to send items of misfitting clothing back. Not only would this appeal to the consumer and save the retailer money, it would have a positive knock on effect on the environment, reducing the negative effects of transporting goods unnecessarily as well as extra packaging. The app would also allow the consumer to see themselves in each item of clothing using the camera function of their phone and go on to purchase the product. Income would come through advertising and sponsorship as well as a 3% commission on each item sold through the app.

Team Two, Solar Extendables targeted the developing world in creating a shoe that would expand with the growing foot of the consumer. This would require only one pair of shoes to be used for an entire life, with the material used being flexible enough to expand but strong enough not to break. The target market would be NGOs and the cost would be £50 per pair. To develop their business they would consider creating more premium products in future, such as different styles of shoe to appeal to a wider market as well as offering multiple starting sizes.

Team Three, Chewdiction, created a chewing gum designed to combat drug addiction. They would seek funding from the NHS and other charities in order to complete their research and development and see the NHS as their main target customer. Free samples would be given out in addiction clinics to raise awareness of the product. They were the first team to shake the hands of each judge which was a strong example of good business etiquette.

The final team, My Card, presented a single card that would hold within it all of your credit cards, ID cards and store loyalty cards which you could manage through an app. They would charge £8.99 per month for the service but came up with several ways to incentivise people to buy: your first month free, one free month if you refer a friend and free credit on your birthday. The card is manufactured using recycled materials and income would be generated through commission on purchases made with the card as well as sharing consumer purchase data with other organisations. Fingerprint recognition technology would be introduced in the future to ensure maximum security.

All of the teams faced challenging questions from our team of judges and all dealt with them in an impressive manner. In the end, team one won the prize with their clothes buying app.

workshop with Future Foundations

published on: 1 April 2019