Congratulations on launching the award!

Teachers are vital to keeping their pupils' entrepreneurial spirit alive. With your support and encouragement, more young women will take the bold steps to start their own businesses and be their own boss. Thank you for taking the time to invest in your pupils' entrepreneurial education by giving them the opportunity to enter this award. We know that launching any new program in addition to the curriculum can be a challenge, so we hope this page will help give you the additional support and resources you need to successfully make an impact with this program.   


"The Atherton Award encourages entrepreneurial spirit in our students, providing them with the opportunity and the confidence to develop the skills they will need at university and in the world of work. We have been delighted to see past winners, who have gone on to study at Russell Group universities in the UK, plus Columbia and Stanford in the US, successfully build on their business ideas in conjunction with their studies." Sarah Leighton, Enterprise Coordinator, Benenden School  


Teacher's Program Launching Document:

Enter Password Sent in Launch Email 

How do you recognize entrepreneurial spirt in the classroom? 

The Atherton Award is not the National Enterprise Challenge or another University Program with strict rules! By design, we do not offer is a structured program, nor is the sole goal of the Award to encourage pupils to start a business and make money.

The Atherton Award is about ideas. It's about nurturing a curiosity to build and create and to change the world on a massive scale. You can recognize entrepreneurial spirit in the form of ideas.  

Ideas might entail making an existing system or product more efficient (previous entrant examples include designing a new aquaponics system or designing a shoe made of biopolymers to help combat climate change). In Silicon Valley this is  described as disrupting an industry. This is typically done through leveraging new technology or designing a better product or brand, for example Casper disrupted the mattress industry or Ocado and Deliveroo disrupted the grocery and food delivery industry. You can encourage entrepreneurial spirit by helping student's uncover where a unique insight and a natural passion overlap.  For example a recent Atherton Award Winner was interested in climate change and one day noticed there might be a way to re-use the heat generated by your fridge to reduce your energy bill and CO2 output. Encouraging students to consider what they are interested in and uncover where there might be an opportunity to create something is a great place to start helping them figure out their idea.  


What qualifies a pupil to enter?  

An idea that they have to turn into something bigger, whether it's a product, an app, a brand, or a business. Pupils can apply as an individual or as a team.

Judging Criteria?

Demonstrates outstanding entrepreneurial spirit, which can be: 

  1. Launching an Idea: Student launches a real business with early customers and users and a business plan to scale up.  
  2. Development of an Idea: Student creates a go to market business plan with their product, explaining what the business is, who they target audience is, what their research and users interviews show alongside how they might use investment to scale the business up to certain milestones. 
  3. Improving STEM Skills: Student has greatly improved their STEM skillset eg. learned to code, took an online course with a prestigious university. Best cases, students have APPLIED these skills to a project or business

4 important questions to ask your students along the way 

Why now? 

What is happening in the world that makes now a great time to be working on this problem? What are the tailwinds that will help propel your idea to a massive company? Tailwinds could include consumer behavior changes or new technologies. 


Why you?  

Anyone can have an idea, but not everyone can build a big business. What unique insight, interest, or life experience do you have that makes you the best person to solve this problem / build this company? 


How do you plan to reach your users & customers?  

Having a clear plan for how you are going to reach your first 10 customers, your first 50, and first 100 is important. In Silicon Valley this is called distribution and your 'Go to Market' plan. 


How do you plan to make money? 

What will your business model be? Whilst not all tech companies make money in the beginning, you do eventually need to provide investors and shareholders a return, especially if you raise venture capital. 


Check List For Launching The Atherton Award 

1) The Launch Video 

2) The Application Form 

3) The Website for Students to Access Further Resources  

4) Office Hours* 

5) A Check-in-Point Halfway

* Office hours are a fantastic way to check in on students. Gather all applicants in a classroom and ask them to seat themselves in a circle. Ask them to simply state 1) the name of their business and what it does and 2) what progress they have made on their idea. You can offer feedback/further questions if anything is unclear.