The School: Greenfield School

Greenfield School, based in Woking in Surrey, is in their first year of working with Enabling Enterprise. The School seeks to encourage and develop a range of gifts and talents amongst its pupils through a wealth of opportunities for children to develop their interests and experiences outside of the normal timetable and many opportunities for non-academic pursuits.

And so today’s trip was a fantastic opportunity for students from Year 5 to put their Problem-Solving and Staying Positive skills to the test outside the classroom with the support from professional business volunteers.

The Business: Societe Generale

Societe Generale Equipment Finance (SGEF) provides vendor and equipment finance to the full breadth of the business sector. SGEF is owned by Societe Generale, an international banking group headquartered in Paris, France. The team at SGEF based in Richmond specialise in a great variety of financing schemes for equipment, from the smaller loans they offer to sole traders to multi-million pound projects. As an organisation, they are able to give excellent insights into what it’s like to work in a multinational company within the financial sector.

The teams today were very lucky to be joined by Jo, Lavinia, Kesia, Alex and Olivia, who work in a variety of departments and roles within SGEF including Risk Management, Asset Management and Financing.

The Challenge: Lend-a-Hand

The day started off with the students interviewing the volunteers to find out about their different roles, responsibilities and the Enterprise Skills required to do their jobs. Students then went on a tour of the premises, which allowed the teams to see the great variety of jobs available in the world of finance, including Human Resources and IT. Problem Solving skills were very much in evidence in all of these roles and the teams were picking up some top tips from the professionals to take back to the boardroom for their tasks.

With the help of their volunteers, students explored budgets and how lifestyle choices can impact on how much money people have available to spend, which influences their decisions. By Staying Positive, teams reflected on their decisions and were learning from their mistakes by revisiting group decisions. Taking on the role of Financial Advisors, students were then given the task of advising a client to make sensible financial decisions for a range of different life events. Teams had to stretch their Problem Solving skills to work out the pros and cons of different solutions. Taking the priorities and needs of the client on board, teams then worked together to suggest the best possible course of action for their client.

The teams’ Staying Positive skills were put to the test when they realised that decisions they had made earlier on were having an impact on the advice they were giving their client later in the day.

The day culminated in teams holding a budgeting meeting with the client to share their top tips and financial advice. Volunteers watched the meeting and used their expertise to judge which team had used their enterprise skills to the highest standard in order to make the most sensible decisions along the way.

What they said:

  • “Today, we have learnt so much about budgets and lifestyle decisions. I now understand that you can’t always get what you want, and that what you want and what you need aren’t always the same.” – Student, Greenfield School
  • “There has been a real focus on enterprise skills and reasoning today, use fast-paced, interactive situations that the children could relate to. They will take away a greater appreciation of the importance of soft skills, such as negotiation, and have developed better problem-solving strategies.” – Teacher, Greenfield School
  • “They have done an incredible job today! They were so flexible with their thinking and really grasped the concept of budgeting and how important it is. I too have learnt a huge amount today – I wish I had such a great understanding of budgeting when I was younger!” – Volunteer, SGEF
  • “We have learnt that budgeting enables you to solve problems and to stay positive because it helps you to keep track of what you’ve got and how much you can spend, so there are no surprises!” – Student, Greenfield School

Thanks to everyone for such a great trip day!

Enabling Enterprise are working in partnership with schools and businesses to support students to build enterprise skills and aspirations. Find out more by contacting us or visiting

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