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Within the Economics and Business department, Business attempts to balance the twin objectives of introducing pupils to the world of Business and Entrepreneurship with the requirements of the exam specification. In recent years the department has been very successful in attaining the best results from each pupil.

Business is taught at GCSE and as a full A Level subject. The department aims to advise and inform pupils about the plethora of courses and help to tailor them to their individual needs.

Business related degree courses are the most popular in the country and this is no different at Canford.

At GCSE, the course is designed to give pupils a sound understanding of business and the ability to use knowledge, skills and understanding appropriately in the context of international markets and the UK. We aim to enable pupils to use an enquiring, critical approach to distinguish between facts and opinion and evaluate qualitative and quantitative data, to help build arguments and make informed judgments about subjects such as ethics and sustainability in business.

The Business A Level requires pupils to use theory to explain the success or failure of a wide range of businesses. It examines how firms attempt to manage those elements of the business that are within their control (marketing, money, employees, factory organisation) and how they react when factors outside of their control impact on the business.  At the subject's core is the process of decision-making and how firms arrive at solutions. Pupils are expected to examine firms and present possible strategies to solve their own specific problems. 

Case Study - Pitching for Business

As part of our Business Enterprise programme for Sixth Formers, each year pupils form Business Enterprise Groups to meet the  challenge of forming profitable business plans, with the ultimate goal being to create profits to donate to their chosen charity.  The aim is that the business plans based on creative ideas are strong enough to impress investors and encourage financial support for their companies.  At this year's event, Adam Mowe from Investec, along with Klara Lorenz from the London School of Economics, visited Canford to listen to the team pitches and give feedback and suggestions on the quality and credibility of their plans. One group decided on a new, personalised clothing brand, and the other a Canford scarf incorporating the school colours.

Our business, Loco is a clothing brand, which adapts popular culture logos to create styles and trends, and example of this was adapting the ‘B’ in the Bentley logo into an ‘R’ for Ross, whose charity it is we’re trying to raise as much profit for as possible. It took around a month and a half to finalise an idea, however once we had confirmed the idea, we proceeded to research suppliers, create balance sheets and conduct market research.Tom Patrick - Lower Sixth

Initially we were faced with the task of developing a product which would be profitable and realistic, thus we made the decision to create 'Canford Blue and White' which was a brand of Canford scarves that we hoped to sell to pupils, parents and staff. In order to gain the finance to put our business idea into action we were then required to pitch a presentation of our business plan to a group of investors, through which we managed to obtain the funding to go ahead with our business project which we will continue to carry out through the year.Iona Sheerin - Lower Sixth

This was an extremely valuable experience for our entrepreneurs, with groups impressing enough to win a £500 investment into starting their businesses.  We are very grateful to Adam and Investec for the investment opportunity and to Klara for her helpful insights.  The teams can't wait now to bring their plans to fruition.

Read more about previous Business Enterprises