Hardenhuish School win Global Entrepreneurs Challenge 2016


4 Year 10 students from Hardenhuish School in Chippenham spent their Whitsun holiday savouring their win in the final of the 2nd Global Entrepreneurs’ Challenge, organised by Wiltshire Global Education Centre, the educational arm of the Marlborough Brandt Group which has linked Marlborough to Gunjur in the Gambia for more than 30 years.

5 teams made it to the final which took place at The Platform in Swindon: – three from Hardenhuish, one from Lydiard Park Academy and one from Pewsey Vale, the school which produced last year’s winners. The students had all taken part in a Gambia workshop run by WGEC which focused on the need for small, environmentally-friendly businesses to be set up in the village. This is very much in accordance with the direction of MBG’s recent work which recognises the lack of employment opportunities in Gunjur and the possibility that this is resulting in young men being tempted to take the ‘back way’ to Europe.

All 5 teams impressed the judging panel of ‘dragons’ with their well thought through plans to set up environmentally-friendly businesses, from producing biofuel, making toys with glue from fish bones, selling sandals made from tyres to setting up a tailoring co-operative. But the judges were unanimous in deciding that Jacques Tagholm, Matthew Dempsey, Rebecca Harborne and Rachael Mytton’s plan to produce charcoal briquettes made from peanut husks was viable and a winner.

The prize for the students and their teacher is a trip to the Gambia, paid for by the sponsors of the Global Challenge, the Arkleton Trust, during October half term. During the visit, they will work with Gambian secondary school students who are taking part in a similar competition. They will also meet up with women from a local co-operative who are already involved in producing charcoal from sawdust. The winners will experience life in Gunjur, a village in transition, a unique and potentially life-changing experience.

Caroline Harmer, Manager of WGEC said: ‘The range of entries in last year’s competition set the bar very high, but we were astounded by the depth of all the finalists’ understanding of very complex development issues. All of them and the teachers who have supported them in the challenge are to be congratulated. We are now starting preparations for their visit to ensure that they get the most out of such a fantastic opportunity, as did last year’s winning team from Pewsey Vale.’

If you would like to find out more about next year’s challenge or find out what Wiltshire Global Education Centre can do to support your school on its global journey, email Caroline Harmer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..