The Business and Entrepreneurial Centre (BEC) at St Peter’s, Cambridge is an exciting initiative that inspires our students to understand the importance of business and to develop enterprising attributes and skills. It is accessible to students across all the learning areas and also provides extra-curricular opportunities.
Our aim is to encourage students to become enterprising in their own areas of interest. Not every student will want to study accounting, economics or business studies but all our students need to know how to make informed financial decisions throughout their lives. For those students who do have a keen interest in business, the BEC provides an environment where they can thrive and practical support to get their ideas off the ground.
The BEC is also the name of the classroom block which serves Business Studies, Commerce, Economics, and related subjects. Each classroom bears the names of one of our BEC sponsors — Staples Rodway, Zuru Toys, and Milford Asset Management. These exciting partnerships give our students unrivalled access to business and entrepreneurial leaders who are willing to invest their expertise in our students.
Our students can take business and entrepreneurial studies from Year 9 to 13. Enterprise Studies is an option subject at Year 9, and Commerce Studies at Year 10. In NCEA Levels 1–3 options are Business Studies, Commerce, Accounting, and Economics (the last two also having scholarship level options). Students taking the International Baccalaureate Diploma can choose Business Management and Economics. Continuous options through the secondary school mean students can build an excellent foundation of knowledge, skills, and experience.
The BEC teaching staff facilitate cross-curricular learning opportunities for students. They work creatively with teaching staff in other faculties to create projects that integrate different learning areas. One such project for Years 10 and 11 students was ‘Camembert in the Classroom.’ In science classes students contributed by assessing product quality; in Design and Visual Communication students created packaging and branding; and in the BEC students worked on marketing and media. Projects like this are excellent ways for students to develop an all round understanding of what business involves.
The BEC has a school-wide initiative to develop the financial capabilities of our students. This initiative is a partnership with Westpac bank, and aims to inform students how to make financially responsible decisions around saving, spending and investing. Specific age-related topics are presented to the various year groups within the school community.
The BEC Breakfast Meetings provide opportunities for students to be inspired by business leaders. Students have open invitation to attend Breakfast Meetings and hear experts speak about business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and the economy. Past guests have included Sir William Gallagher, Diane Foreman, and Tainui Holdings’ CEO Parekawhia McLean.
The BEC partners share their expertise and passion with our students and community.
The BEC facilitates a Young Entrepreneur Programme for our students. This initiative is funded by the St Peter’s Foundation and is open to students in Years 7–12. Students are invited to present a business idea. The best ideas are rewarded with a kick-start that includes business mentoring, seed money, and membership to the EnQ Young Lions Programme, which specialises in growing entrepreneurial intelligence. Our Entrepreneur of the Year Award is for Year 13 students. It rewards one outstanding business idea with sponsorship from Milford Asset Management.
The BEC helps Year 13 students to set up and run their own business for a year. Students receive a lot of support from the Young Enterprise Trust. This opportunity encourages innovative thinking and gives students real-world experience.
The BEC encourages students to participate in competitions and challenges. St Peter’s is a regional hub for Lincoln University’s Global Challenges Commerce Quiz. This competition is open to any Year 12 student studying Accounting, Economics, or Business Studies. We also encourage Year 10 students to take part in the EPIC Challenge (Enterprising Primary Industries Careers Challenge). This nationwide opportunity challenges students to research career options in primary industries and to create a strategy that promotes these careers to fellow Year 10 students.
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