Marking Scheme

The following is a breakdown of how the judges mark each area of your business:

Marking Scheme

Product / Service 50
Marketing  30
Innovation 40
Sales 40
Business Report 30
Finances 20
Exhibition Stand & Interview 30
Personal Development 20

Overall Marks 260

1. Product /Service

In this section the judges will be checking the overall quality of your product or service. If your business idea is a product make sure that it is:

  • Appealing & well-finished
  • Suitable for its intended use

Also, don’t forget to have good quality control procedures in place at all times.

If your business idea is a service business make sure that you show the judges that you consistently deliver a high quality of service. Outline what checks and systems you have in place to guarantee this.

2. Marketing

Marks are awarded for both your market research and your marketing plan.

Market research:

  • Any research you carry out to find out if there is a market for your product or service
  • E.g. questionnaires and surveys

Marketing plan:

  • Have a clearly defined marketing plan
  • Outline how you have adapted your marketing plan to more closely meet your customers’ needs i.e. how did you adapt your marketing plan once you got the results of your market research?

3. Innovation

Marks are awarded for innovation in a number of areas of your business, not just the business idea:

  • The level of innovation in the methods you used for coming up with your business idea e.g. brainstorming, identifying a problem and finding a solution etc…
  • The level of innovation of your product or service
  • Innovative methods used for marketing or selling of your product or service

In addition marks are awarded for product or service research & development.

4. Sales

Marks will be awarded on the level of revenue generated by students through sales of their product/service in this category going forward. If a Student Enterprise demonstrates a  high level of innovation without adequate sales, they will lose marks  in this new section of the marking scheme.


5. Business Report

Marks in this section are awarded for the following:

  • The general structure of your business and the role each person played in the business e.g. Director, Finance Manager etc… Charts are a good way of illustrating this.
  • Difficulties you came across and how you overcame them. All businesses will experience some difficulties. Marks are awarded for outlining the difficulties you encountered along the way and how you dealt with these.


Remember that your business report is the first impression that the judges get of your mini-company.

Don’t make the mistake of rushing your business report at the end of the programme. It’s a good idea to keep a weekly diary of the work you do each week, problems you come across, how you dealt with them etc….

Then, when you are writing your business report, simply look back over all your weekly diary sheets to remind you of all the hard work you’ve done – and let the judges know about it!

View weekly diary sheets here (Word document)

6. Finances

This is a very important section of the report. Marks will be awarded for:

  • Cash-flow forecast or budget: this shows your projected income and expenditure for the business. While this does not have to match the actual performance of the business, it will help you identify where and how the differences arose.
  • Profit & loss account: shows the actual performance of the business
  • Pricing: marks are also awarded for clearly showing how your product or service was priced

7. Exhibition Stand & Interview

Exhibition stand

  • While only 10 marks are awarded for your stand display, this is still a very important area. A good display stand creates an overall impression of your business. Remember that there is also a special prize awarded for best display stand.
  • 10 marks are awarded for the techniques used at your exhibition stand such as use of Powerpoint slides, use of video, CD player, demonstrations etc…

View stands from 2008 Competition (zip file)

Interview skills

  • 10 Marks are awarded for your interview skills at the stand. The purpose of the interview is to determine your knowledge of the project, the business and life skills you learned and if you are working in a team, how well you worked together.

Find out more about how to give a great interview (Word document)

8. Personal Development

In this section you are marked on what you learned from your experience of running your own business.