Yes, they do. All participating schools must provide the start-up funding to each of their participating company teams. Any profit made over and above the start-up funding may be used as the schools see fit.

The businesses are virtual in the sense that we give the children virtual money. They are real in the sense that the children, through their school, keep profit and loss accounts, purchase the materials, manufacture and market the products and have a period of selling. They re-invest profits to purchase more materials and the race is on to make the most profit. 

The winning team will be chosen based on the final report that is submitted by each company. Profit and loss will be taken into consideration, alongside the quality of the work produced throughout all stages of the competition. 

The concept of ‘The Dragons’ is based on the UK TV show ‘Dragons Den’. Different countries have different versions called different things, however, the concept is that budding entrepreneurs ask for investment funds to take their ideas and turn them into a reality. 

The most successful company will be invited to attend an award ceremony. Although the sponsors aim to contribute to the costs of attending this ceremony, an element of the profit and contributions from the winning school may be used to offset the costs. The award will be presented to the winning team of 5-6 children, out of the many that have participated.

It is the responsibility of each participating school to get written consent to participate in the project. As the children will be connecting and collaborating with children across the world and they will be given an account in Microsoft 365, the participating schools need to be happy that their school policies allow for the children to have an Microsoft 365 account and that their parents have consented. 

There are some important principals that must be followed when the children trade to be sure that the challenge is both fair and safe. These include: 

  1. Teams can only trade at agreed times and in agreed locations. 
  2. Trading can only take place during the dates set down in the timeline and the project coordinator will advice of these. 
  3. Clear guidelines must be given by the teachers of the participating schools about who they can trade with. This is typically children of the school and their families. 
  4. Trading must take place under the supervision of adults. 
  5. The teams can trade as regularly or as little as they want but schools must balance the manufacturing time, the trading time and their school work time.
  6. Each school must agree a date with the project coordinator to have a ‘fair trade’. This is where all teams come together to sell at a fair or fete to which the school is invited but this is only one event. 
  7. Each team needs to be given a ‘cash float’ and their cash position reconciled against their company accounts each week.

Each company needs to keep a set of accounts that will show both income and expenditure – the profit and loss accounts. These will be kept in MS Excel.


This is a great opportunity to teach both the beginning principals of book keeping with a whole array of Mathematical concepts and skills including the use of formulae in spreadsheets.


Everything that a team spends must be recorded. 


There is a comprehensive list of costs for different aspects of the project, the accounts must not only include what materials or ingredients have purchased but also all the other chargeable costs.

There are strict rules around keeping accurate accounts. The teachers play a key role in this and act as ‘Trading Standards’ and can fine teams who do not keep accurate accounts or trade in an unfair way. They must verify the accounts fair and accurately and submit them weekly to the project coordinator. 

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