Anatolia College - The Company Programme - RevoRootion
This case study was prepared by Antigoni Pyrovetsi from Anatolia College, edited by Joseph TIXIER from the OECD LEED Programme
Anatolia College is a private, non-profit educational institution comprised of Anatolia Elementary School, Anatolia High School, and the American College of Thessaloniki (ACT), overseen by a Greek and American Board of Trustees, organized in accordance with the Greek law. Located at the outskirts of Thessaloniki, in the residential area of Pylea and providing high-quality curricular and extra-curricular programs, it is one of the most popular private schools in Northern Greece. The school is situated in a 45 acre plant-rich campus, approximately 13 km from the Thessaloniki city centre. Thessaloniki is the second biggest city in Greece with a population of approximately 1 million.
Anatolia High School has about 1,300 students (12- 18 years) and 135 teachers, offering the Greek apolytirion (the Greek high school diploma) by meeting the requirements laid down by the Greek Ministry of Education as well as an English-language International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) for grades 11 and 12 of high school (16-18 years) that prepares students to study abroad.
Anatolia High School aims to provide secondary education of the highest quality by combining the best of Greek and American educational concepts and methods. It also aims to cultivate high personal ethical values, to prepare students for democratic citizenship, to promote individual responsibility, to foster tolerance and understanding for the rights and opinions of others, and to instill a sense of obligation to society and mankind. Through an extensive extra-curricular program, it presents ample opportunities to students to venture into unknown territory, explore their talents and creativity in groups or individually, thus enriching their learning experience and developing a well-rounded personality.
The school’s regular subject curriculum does not provide scheduled time for teaching entrepreneurship. However, entrepreneurial learning is found in different ways:
- The IBDP teachers of economics and business management introduce entrepreneurial education deploying a variety of techniques and practices within regular lesson time (creative games, problem-solving techniques, case-studies, role playing).
- Enterprise also features at internationally-minded learning occasions, where the school invites guest speakers within the context of dedicated days (Cultural Diversity, World Poetry Day, and Earth Day). Additionally, in several occasions, the teachers of economics and business management co-operate with local entrepreneurs or professors of the Business Division of ACT to conduct lectures on current economic affairs or to participate in workshops or seminars on key management or strategy issues.
- Field trips are organized by the school and students visit companies and organizations in Thessaloniki, and its surroundings (manufacturing firms, banking sector, wineries, agricultural sector, NGOs)
- Special projects under the Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) component of the IBDP are undertaken with an attempt to reach out to the local community, indirectly related to entrepreneurship (like the Greek/Canadian project where Anatolia IBDP students joined forces with a Canadian High School to renovate a local school’s facilities here in Thessaloniki)
- Students are introduced to optional, extracurricular activities such as simulations or competitions in collaboration with SEN – Junior Achievement Greece (JA-GR) - which add value as part of business training activities and satisfy the thirst for new challenges. JA-GR programs for High schools can usually be well fitted within the subjects of Economics and Business Management as additional classes or extra-curricular activities. In this context, in 2008 Anatolia first introduced the Banks in Action Program of JA-GR - where students after being introduced to fundamental aspects of the banking industry (deposit/loan products and related interest rates), participate in a computer simulation, “run” a bank and make decisions while aiming to outperform competing teams from all over Europe, a club that ran successfully for five consecutive years, offering the school a lot of winning titles and prizes. Students’ participation in the JA-GR Job Shadow Program, offers students the opportunity to visit a professional work environment and research career opportunities and the skills needed to find and keep a fulfilling job. The Company Program of JA-GR followed naturally as a continuation and a new challenge in the field of entrepreneurship the students were eager to be involved with; an excellent opportunity to organize and operate a student-led company under the guidance of volunteer business advisers.
Overall, the majority of the IBDP teachers is strongly encouraged and tries to implement creative and innovative methods into their teaching practice to make the students think in new and different ways; approaches appropriate to IBDP’s core philosophy. This allows students to solve problems, have the boldness and enthusiasm to do new and interesting things, and know how to develop and present an idea. Additionally, students develop and improve their social skills and build better social networks. It is within this educational context and practices that entrepreneurship could further be fostered and nurtured across more subjects besides that of Economics and Business management. Besides, the school’s leadership structure has been constantly supportive of promoting entrepreneurial practices, which is particularly important during a period of acute economic uncertainty and significant financial constraints. For the most part the physical and virtual learning environments, facilities and resources are also of support of such an initiative. However, teachers often feel constrained by the demands of a tight time schedule when trying to fulfil the aims/objectives of their courses, being uncertain of how to fit in entrepreneurial practices in their lessons. The complexity of teachers’ schedules and difficulty of securing teachers’ training time could also play a discouraging role in designing and implementing such methods. Nevertheless, once entrepreneurial practices are built in the curriculum and the benefits of those practices are widely communicated within the school community, it will be easier to adopt them on a wider scale.
After the successful implementation of the Banks in Action Club, with an approximate total participation of 200 students within 5 years from the IBDP and the Greek Diploma high school(10th and 11th grade), the national prizes and international achievements of the students’ and the good and fruitful collaboration between the school and SEN-JA GR, the teachers who were in search for other educational practices and “ learning by doing” activities, as well as the students involved, became interested in other programs offered in support of entrepreneurship. Therefore, after having expressed an interest on moving on to new programs with SEN-JA GR, the responsible of the organization informed the institution about the high school programs related to entrepreneurship and invited teachers and students to visit the Trade Fair and final stage of the 2010 competition for the Company Program. Thus the 2010 Banks in Action winners and their Economics teacher / coach visited the student Trade Fair in Athens, discussed with peers from other schools about the Company project (idea, product/service produced, difficulties and achievements) while the teacher had the chance to discuss about the project’s requirements and expected learning outcomes not only with the director of SEN-JA GR but also with fellow teachers and volunteers that have acted as mentors in the initiative and shared their experiences.
Since SEN-JA GR had the mechanism set up (guidelines, manual for student, teacher and volunteer, assessment criteria, learning outcomes and experienced volunteers), expertise on running such programs in collaboration with JA-Europe and trained volunteers to support the program, the institution decided to join the program. Hence, in 2011, one of the most popular extra-curricular clubs of the school was introduced: the Company Program in which many IB students of the Economics and Business -Management classes are part of. In the Company Program, students set up and run their own virtual company and become familiar with key business functions and processes.
This initiative is directly connected with the concept of “experiential learning” (the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience, Kolb 1984). Experiential learning involves much more than just the activity itself: planning, acting, observing and reflecting are all crucial in making the experience as valuable as possible.
The cycle of experiential learning
Hence, through hands-on experiences, students become highly motivated and have the opportunity to develop valuable entrepreneurial skills and capabilities. The focus is on the development of business entrepreneurship that will help young people to apply the obtained skills in the real world and develop both personally as well as socially.
The program aims to develop students who are:
- innovative in their approach
- communicators of creative ideas
- adapt to change with problem-solving skills
- work effectively in collaboration with others and under time pressure
- aware and confident of themselves as active members of communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment
Description of the activity/project
The Company Program is suitable for teaching within the school curriculum, either within the context of courses such as Economics and Business Studies or as an extra-curricular enterprise activity by itself. It allows students to learn and experience business fundamentals as they operate a student-led company. The ultimate purpose is for students to be able to apply their newfound skills to their education and future careers. They are introduced to a variety of business concepts including company structure and operations, product sales, pricing, product development and promotion, ultimately leading to the creation of a business plan.
The 2013 Company Program at the IBDP of Anatolia College was launched in early September, in a morning assembly devoted to student work and initiatives. The 2012 Company Program members presented their business initiative, the product developed and the positive experience and achievements obtained by the participation in this project, while stressing out that it is the students who take full responsibility in this project, whereby teachers and volunteers involved are simply acting as mentors. Around 30 students showed interest in the activity and registered for the club.
The teacher of Economics and Business Management were appointed as facilitators of a group of 25 eager young entrepreneurs, credited one hour per week for this extra-curricular activity. The club would meet for a double school period (90 minutes) every Wednesday, first in order for students to be introduced to the basic business concepts necessary for the project and later on in order to discuss and organise their further action. Several out-of –school hours are also to be dedicated in the project, the closer the team approaches the deadlines set by the program (trade fair or business plan submission). These are to be agreed upon the members of the Company (usually once every other week for 1-2 hours).
A volunteer adviser from the local banking community, Dr. Apostolos Aigyptiadis - Regional Manager of the National Bank of Greece- was provided by SEN-JA GR to guide and mentor the company with his business experience and real-life supplements (e.g. marketing tactics, financial instruments, etc) to challenge students into innovative thinking. The teachers are expected to organize the program’s operations, arrange for the resources required, support the business volunteer and follow up the project with the team. In addition, each JA Company is equipped with a kit containing several resources, including one handbook for teachers, one for volunteers and one with useful information on legal liabilities, health and safety regulations as well as a variety of documents to be used by student members.
During the first meeting in late September, after the volunteer introduced himself to the members of the team, the schools provided the guidelines and rules of the program, discussed about the organisational structure of a company, the roles and responsibilities of the various department officers and explored what is the vision, the mission and the targets of a company. Students were also informed on the deadlines to be met (submission of product idea, prototype production, trade fair, business plan submission). At this point between 5 and 8 of the students dropped out, not being able to cope with the responsibilities and commitment expected.
In the next couple of October meetings the coaches used creative exercises, such as various ice breakers for team bonding purposes, to create confidence among the members and help the members learn more about each other. The students were then asked to democratically elect their board of directors and a general secretary responsible of keeping minutes of all meetings. All participants were to be prepared for their first Board meeting after revising each manager’s role and responsibilities.
The CEO with the chief officers of all departments (production, marketing, finance, human resources) set the way that each department would communicate to the board of directors the progress done at each stage (5-10 minute presentation from each department director at each meeting and extra, separate meetings of the departments, if needed). In order for students to choose the product/service to be produced by their company, different techniques of generating ideas were used: brainstorming (where at least one idea was expected from every member to be then written on the whiteboard), focus on specific target group needs (e.g. computer illiterate adults), interviews of students and friends on current unsatisfied needs and wants, cutting and pasting of different ideas. This resulted in a plethora of ideas. Students went through the ideas one by one, threw away the unrealistic and the less likely to be implemented and ended up with the best three suggestions. These suggestions were then presented and evaluated by their presenters, who were asked to explain the user-need being satisfied, the target group addressed, the product’s feasibility and functionality (technically and financially), the health and safety issues involved, the innovative element of the idea, the competitors’ strength in this market and the uniqueness/competitive advantage of the product under discussion. This process led the school, early November, to the selection of the best idea: a smart irrigation system to water plants using a combination of four different sensors.
The members of the company had decided upon the name of the company - RevoRootion Inc. (originating from the words “revolution” and “root”) and named their product EXAPOT (Greek initials of the words Smart Automated Watering System), setting up as their mission “to create “Green Households” providing an easy way for the consumer to reduce the daily water wastage, turning the town of Thessaloniki into a greener and healthier environment for its citizens”. The business idea was formulated and evaluated using a SWOT analysis, while the target group of customers was identified.
The financial department was then asked to raise the share capital (250 shares were sold at €2 each) through the sale of shares to students, friends, teachers and relatives. Throughout December, promotional presentations were held in order to inform and persuade potential shareholders. Meanwhile estimating and taking into account the fixed and variable costs was crucial in deciding the market price of the product. The team considered production costs (cost of raw materials reaching approximately €27 and an additional cost of €60 distributed in production wages) and administrative ones (reached €155, consisting mostly of salaries and miscellaneous expenditure) aiming for a profit sufficient to secure a viable and competitive business. The price was set at 45€, including VAT, offering a mostly competitive price while maintaining top quality and the break-even point was calculated at 6 units.
The marketing department conducted a primary research including a distribution of questionnaires, so as to identify gaps in the market and cover profitably potential consumer needs. Then competition analysis, on the other hand, was important to determine unique features that none of the rival irrigation system companies offered to customers. Through secondary research it became evident that very few companies were combining all of EXAPOT’S characteristics, while they offered their products at high prices.
As for the production department, its members were given a strict deadline, mid December, to set up a code to determine the amount of water provided to the plants in combination with four sensors receiving information from the environment (soil moisture, air humidity and temperature, and light intensity) and providing it to the software.
Three prototypes were developed before the end of December, to establish the final version of the product in order to maximize production efficiency and minimize costs. The packaging of EXAPOT was carefully thought out and made of 100% recyclable materials such as paper and plastic, a fact that reinforces RevoRootion’s goal to raise environmental awareness.
1: EXAPOT Presentation at 2013 ACSTAC
According to the market research and keeping in mind that EXAPOT would be initially distributed to the Greek market, which is predominantly price sensitive, Revorootion Inc. had as a basic premise the provision of a combination of technological features at the lowest possible price value compared to rivals. Identification of consumer demand was verified through questionnaires and product testing at the Anatolia College Charity Christmas Bazaar and at the Anatolia College Science and Technology Annual Conference (ACSTAC), where the majority of the company’s target group (environmentally conscious or busy individuals in Greece) positively responded in adopting or replacing their current irrigation systems with EXAPOT.
At the next stage the business plans of all departments were set up and discussed and the business plan overview was finalised (short and longer term targets, estimation of required resources both in human and physical capital, cost of the product and break-even point, overview of the specific market, forecasted sales and promotion tactics)
The production plan was under implementation at the beginning of January, with the members of the Production Department having delivered and tested the code and the main EXAPOT components ordered and expected to be delivered from China. The final production run was the most stressful as the construction of units with such complicated wiring required long labour hours. The resources required to facilitate the production process bore significant cost and required some level of expertise to operate. Instruments such as oscilloscopes and high accuracy multi-meters (borrowed or provided by members of Revorootion) were used to validate the satisfactory operation of each unit.
At the same time the marketing department is identifying the unique selling point of EXAPOT; advanced technological features through the embedment of four sensors, respect towards the environment and a competitive price, taking into consideration the current economic crisis.
In terms of promotion, Revorootion Inc. adopted both above the line and below the line promotion strategies in order to pursue initially informative and gradually persuasive advertising and increase market share. Above the line promotion included:
- Facebook Fanpage
- Interview at TV100 Channel
- Interview at Libero FM
- Interview at Cosmoradio FM
Sales promotion at school events have brought possible consumers in touch with EXAPOT and increased consumer awareness, while mouth to mouth promotion made Revorootion’s product recognizable. Contact information written on company cards, leaflets, the advertisement video and website was a complementary means of receiving orders. Products were mainly sold in the trade fairs and exhibitions Revorootion Inc. participated in, but orders could also be placed through the company’s e-mail: email@example.com. Furthermore, a user’s manual has been created to help the consumers set up Exapot. In addition, sales people were continuously trained via mentoring by the Chief Marketing Officer and the manager of the marketing department, reinforced good customer relations and provided feedback to improve the actual product.
2: JA-GR Trade Fair at Mediterranean Cosmos Thessaloniki, February 2013
End of February the team participated in one of the challenges linked to the Company Program, that of the National Trade Fair and received the “green award” by SEN-JA Greece. This award allowed the financial department to move dynamically in search for sponsorships from regional, product-related companies. (Approximately €200 in total)
Around April and before submitting the company’s business report, outstanding orders were completed, stock was cleared and all outstanding issues were resolved (liabilities or monies to be collected). Students agreed to distribute profits to a charity NGO and finalised liquidation. The students were asked to review and evaluate the whole program in terms of personal achievements and difficulties encountered, skills developed, overall performance of the team and points in need of further improvement, the contribution of the teachers and volunteer and the interest developed in relation to various business topics.
Anchoring of the activity/project in the school
From the very first introduction of the program in 2011, the school embraced and supported the initiative, including it in the school’s extra-curricular activities booklet, allowing for the club’s promotion through various school-organised events.
It has even facilitated the teams whenever there was need for support from the school’s public relations department, as in establishing media contacts (newspapers, tv, radio) in terms of its marketing tactics or advising on designing and implementing the company’s promotional campaign (leaflets, posters and business cards). It contributed any equipment within the school (from screwdrivers, pliers, down to precision measuring instruments-oscilloscopes, PCs,etc) after careful consideration of the students’ safety or provided assistance from its technical staff (in complicated and risky operations in relation with electricity and high voltage current) and at times provided funds to cover minor financial costs(stationery, tools, plugs, hose sprayers). It has also guaranteed financial resources and business advices using its extended business network (local suppliers of packaging, general hardware stores, greenhouses, watering and irrigation suppliers or importers, university professors of economics or business and management studies or alumni professionals with expertise either on setting up a start-up or promoting a “green” product).
Finally, an effort has been made to make student achievement within the IBDP more visible, for example by displaying competition winning posters at the school’s main entrance; presenting project –specific progress in morning assemblies. The school has also contributed in communicating any major achievement of the project teams (trade fairs, competitions and prizes won) to the wider school and local community in its website (under school news-achievements), in the local media(articles in local and national newspapers) and other formal communication channels (open day, parents’ information day, graduation ceremony, alumni magazine).
Links of the activity/project with the external world
In search for market inside information, financial support and sponsorship, Revorootion members turned also to external stakeholders. Firms that had interest or related businesses with irrigation systems were contacted to identify any business opportunities or difficulties/threats. For example, Hellenic Farming S.A. (a Greek-Japanese joint venture producing fruits and vegetables using Integrated Crop Management Standards) was contacted through the school’s alumni network and students visited its high tech glass covered greenhouse, were informed about the production process and irrigation system used to water its LUCIA tomatoes and were advised on how to continue with their product development. K&N Efthymiadis S.A., a company of the same Group of companies that specialises in agricultural inputs and plant propagation material, agreed to sponsor RevoRootion and cover the expenses of the air ticket to the London finals. Another example, linked to the students’ initiative to ask for on spot sponsorship during the Trade Fair at Thessaloniki, the need for speakers for the promotional campaign was covered by PUBLIC, a Greek entertainment department store, in return for publicity posters and leaflets placed at the company’s stand.
In conducting its market research the program participants turned to local businesses with the expectation of more information and better understanding of the business operation (Garden Center Vassiliadis active in planting-landscaping and irrigation systems works)
Students also turned to local firms for the provision of the necessary raw materials and equipment needed to produce their final product (general hardware stores with hoses, hose sprayers, nozzles, etc.) In some cases the use of foreign suppliers was the only option, due to financial constraints and students did manage to get in touch with Chinese suppliers through e-bay and place an order on solenoid valves and Arduino processing boards that was successfully materialised.
An attempt to approach Thessaloniki’s municipal authorities and establish a partnership with them was made, based on the project’s media publicity and the persistence and strong network of some of the students’ parents. The students were promised a hearing from the deputy major of urban development to present and explain the potentials of EXAPOT as a watering system that could turn the city of Thessaloniki into a “Green City”, a city with a greener and healthier environment for its citizens. Upgrading EXAPOT in order for it to cater for bigger scale needs (watering of plants in bigger municipal plots of land) could play a significant role in the company’s further expansion and development, as well as in the city’s greener urban environment.
The school in the community
Anatolia College seeks to play an active role in the local community by providing students with opportunities to demonstrate their academic and experiential learning in the school environment, as well as to become more aware of the responsibilities that they hold as members of a number of communities. Morning assemblies devoted to student work and initiatives have become a regular feature of school life. Days dedicated to local and global issues such as entrepreneurship, cultural diversity or environmental awareness are becoming more frequent. Both local and international school trips/excursions are regularly organized. Invitations to guest speakers are extended by subject teachers. Extra-curricular activities such as volunteer work at local hospitals and institutions, Model United Nations, the European Youth Parliament, English and Greek forensics, Banks in Action provide students with opportunities to interact directly with members of different communities.
The Company Program is yet another initiative in collaboration with SEN-JA/GR for students to learn through hands-on experience, through real interaction with volunteers and partners of the local community to create something of importance to their learning development, with a direct positive impact to the local society.
Achievements and impact
The students’ initiative was led by their vision for a healthier and greener world. Students have participated with enthusiasm, passion and genuine interest since they felt they were given the space to be creative. Students reached out to the real world to develop their own ideas, which they actively pursued, identified and managed risks. Overall, RevoRootion members showed team solidarity (establishing a decision-making process, assigning tasks, keeping deadlines, respecting different opinions), good communication skills (excellent results in persuading potential customers and investors), innovative and creative thinking approaches to challenges encountered (back up plans in case of power or internet failure during trade fairs). They have learned to set goals (create “Green Households” providing an easy way for the consumer to reduce the daily water wastage) and pursue them persistently and successfully (monitoring targets regularly and taking corrective action when necessary), they have been exposed to risk-taking decisions(ordering spare parts from China, having to bear the cost of tracking them down or contacting the suppliers to meet deadlines) and applied negotiation techniques(procurement of equipment or closing sales deals) and have definitely developed their entrepreneurial skills. The majority of them greatly contributed in the project’s success, driven by a strong and decisive leadership (a managing director being punctual, planning in advance, delegating tasks to everyone, diplomatic and fair where conflict arises), but also based on solid underlying knowledge and understanding of the theories applied (most of it taught in their IB Business & Management or Economics classes) and detailed guidelines and forms provided by SEN-JA Greece. The team successfully focused on consumers’ needs and identified its target group (environmentally conscious or busy individuals in Greece) under the successful guidance of the marketing department, while producing a product with real potential for succeeding in a real market (good and effective collaboration between operations, finance and marketing directors in order to ensure a quality product that guarantees customer satisfaction and profitability to the company).
Above all they have raised local awareness on “green” products and entrepreneurship, involving both the school community (participation and promotion at Anatolia College Science and Technology Annual Conference) and the local community (participation on television panels and interviews given to radio stations, SEN/JA Greece trade fair event in Thessaloniki).
In the final competition for the best Greek Company for 2013 in Athens, the team members had the opportunity to demonstrate, along with 11 other teams, how effective the team is in presenting, to a business partner, the processes, performance, results, and future potential of the company using a business report. RevoRootion Inc. was nominated as the best Greek company for 2013 and represented Greece in the European Company of the Year 2013 Competition , organized in London by Young Enterprise and Junior Achievement Europe (JA-YE). Over 250 students from 34 nations across Europe participated in the finals with RevoRootion Inc. getting the Sage’s Financial Management in Business Award for demonstrating the best understanding and management of their financial systems across the whole company.
To keep track of company outcomes and reflect upon them, students are giving feedback and evaluate themselves and the program by filling JA-related documents (review documents and a final record of achievement document), discuss progress and results with teachers and volunteers through formal presentations of the completion of the enterprise ventures (successful or not).
Our three years’ experience with the company program has shown that entrepreneurship projects help students become motivated and more successful as they see real purpose and relevance in their schoolwork to their future lives. In addition they can gain understanding and experience of work long before they actually enter a workplace of their choice. The students now have lots of positive references and examples of work they can take with them to use later in their professional lives. Also the organisations and firms contacted within the program were very impressed with our students and many wish to return the next year, so that our new students can build the same good relationships and develop their skills. This offers great synergy for the school, the students and the local community.
Obstacles and ways to overcome them
Developing an innovative business idea did not just flash through the students minds. The team members had to first create a clear vision representing the aim they wanted to achieve. This action was rather difficult in the beginning, required several discussions and the significant contribution of the volunteer’s experience. Finding a niche also required market research. Students had to perform a market survey to verify whether they could sell their product in the market. Questionnaires had to be designed and the survey had to be carried out as broadly as possible. Issues such as length and clarity of the questions, proportion of quantitative to qualitative questions and size of the sample puzzled the students a lot. Again the support of the teachers/mentors was decisive. The next difficult task was competition analysis, in order to determine the unique selling point (USP) of EXAPOT. This demanded the search for any competitors present in the market, study of their products and prices. In this case, competitors had to be directly examined (in most of the cases it deemed unfeasible) or through secondary research (internet, news sources) and the students were expected to show how their product can win in this market- in this case with advanced technological features, respecting the environment, having a competitive price.
The RevoRootion team has also encountered some difficulties in the design and implementation of the actual product. Due to the complicated nature of EXAPOT (four different sensors and a unique coding system that the Production Department had to set up) 3 prototypes were developed to establish the final version of the product in order to maximize production efficiency and minimize costs. The main EXAPOT components were ordered from China for technical and financial reasons. The language barrier and the distance have occasionally caused some delays, yet the ongoing and close cooperation with the Chinese suppliers helped reduce those delays. The resources required for the production process bore significant cost and required some level of expertise to operate (instruments such as oscilloscopes and high accuracy multi-meters were used to validate the satisfactory operation of each unit) which the students overcome by having access to school’s equipment, receiving sponsorships and guidance by professionals or other school teachers. The students run product testing as well as a consumer survey to identify the product’s features that would rightly promote EXAPOT (technical and environmental features and price of competitive goods). This required, at times, sacrifice of their personal free time, willingness to take up different roles and agility to respond.
Allocating key positions of the organisation to students was also hard to materialise. While many of the students were overambitious and eager to take up positions high in the hierarchy (CEO, chief officers), there were just a few willing to take positions as employees without a managing responsibility. Once the duties and responsibilities of each chief officer were made clear to all Revorootion members, the students decided upon the company’s organisational chart. They based their decision mostly on their different skills and competences as well as level of business/economics knowledge-. There were times when employees or directors would complain about a department’s performance, lack of motivation, poor attendance, miscommunication, despite of the company consisting of a few power levels and flexible organisational structure. Recommendations were made by the HR director, self-evaluation was conducted and disciplinary action was taken in order to resolve conflicts and help the business gain the maximum benefit from its people. The CEO occasionally intervened tactfully to motivate the team and develop team spirit, made sure that tasks were delegated fairly to everyone and ensured effective co-operation of the different departments or bridged communication gaps. Being well organised, flexible when required, highly motivated for the end result and supported by the external business advisor and mentor/teachers, RevoRootion members managed to pull through and create a successful business.