Retail’s Future? Grand Central Enterprise Project

This month, as part of the school curriculum, Enabling Enterprise has enlisted Birmingham’s Grand Central to help children and young people turn their lesson objectives into real life situations.

On the 25th May, Grand Central will play host to 20 year 6 children who will be visiting the premium shopping and dining destination to take part in a challenge day organised by Enabling Enterprise.

By working together with businesses and schools, the award winning organisation wants to encourage the next generation of future entrepreneurs to gain a valuable insight into the retail workplace.

Jonathan Cheetham, General Manager for Grand Central, said:

Enabling Enterprise is a fantastic way to encourage young people to learn the necessary skills and requirements that are crucial, not just in retail, but more broadly in the workplace today.


It is an honour for Grand Central to be given the opportunity to host this challenge day. By embedding enterprise into the school curriculum, it allows these students to really push themselves through their use of creativity and to develop skills such as leadership, organisation and teamwork.

As part of the day the students will be coached by the Grand Central management team and various retail staff representing a wide range of national shopping and restaurant brands before engaging in a challenge. Student teams will explore how technology, arts and culture are used to create amazing retail environments which attract customers and top brands. Having completed their research, teams will use their imagination and problem solving skills to come up with a brand new design for a retail area and present their work back to the judges.

Enabling Enterprise helps children and young people aged 5 to 18 all across the country by working in partnership with more than 100 top employers to give them the opportunity to experience the world of work through lesson-time projects, challenge days and trips to different business supporters. Enabling Enterprise are heavily focused on making sure that students leave school with the adequate skills and experiences required for life after education.

Grand Central has heavily focused on the value of its surrounding community since opening last September, offering support for local projects in and around the city centre by providing a huge platform for local organisations.

Enabling Enterprise head of partnerships, Simon Hill said:

We are always so overwhelmed by the amount of support we receive from businesses all across the country. It’s refreshing when businesses truly understand the purpose of our projects.


Grand Central is the heart of Birmingham, and so giving children in the West Midlands a chance to go behind the scenes and understand the key values of what makes a huge destination so successful, is really rewarding. The children build up skills in lessons leading up to the visit, so it’s great to see them applying their knowledge once the challenge day arrives – the entrepreneur in all of them really comes out!

Cheetham concluded:

It’s organisations like Enabling Enterprise that help us to remember that our children are the future. It’s crucial that we lead by example and set realistic aspirations and goals for the children and young people of today.

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