Return of the BiG Challenge

Steve Sly, Cllr Colin Ross, David Grey, with Rebecca Jackson at the front
Steve Sly, Cllr Colin Ross, David Grey, with Rebecca Jackson at the front

SHEFFIELD based international legal firm DLA Piper is backing the BiG Challenge for the second year running.

The annual school and college enterprise competition is organised by the Sheffield City Council Enterprise Team and DLA Piper hosted the interim Marketing and Promotion Award ceremony at its city centre offices.

Rebecca Jackson, a 14-year-old student from Sheffield Springs Academy was awarded top prize. Her business ‘Funky Sprout’ impressed the judges with its brochure and website containing interactive links to eBay.

A close second was Alicia Cannon and her ‘Dig for Charity’ business, from King Edward VII School. At the age of 12 she has achieved a top ranked web entry on Google and strong brand identity inspired by the ‘Restless Times’ exhibition at the Millennium Galleries.

Other highly commended entries were awarded to ‘Phoenix Digital Media’ from King Ecgbert’s and ‘Bapple’ from Newfield.

The awards were presented by Coun Colin Ross and David Grey, MBE, Chairman of the OSL Group and member of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

Coun Ross said: “It is fantastic that the BiG Challenge is becoming embedded in Sheffield’s schools and colleges. As a city that is growing the entrepreneurial spirit, it will thrive on the energy and enthusiasm of these young people.”

Giving the headteacher’s point of view, Lesley Bowes from King Ecgbert’s explained what impact the competition had made on engagement and inspiration within schools and expressed gratitude to DLA Piper for their ongoing support.

Also announced at the awards ceremony was the destination for the ultimate BiG Challenge winners to be announced on April 7. DLA Piper have organized a fantastic trip to Madrid, a beautiful city with an economy worth £200 billion, where the winning team will experience European business first-hand.

Steve Sly, DLA Sheffield’s Managing Partner, fully supports the BiG Challenge. He said ”This competition is an inspiration, not only to the young people who enter, but also to the teachers and businesses that get involved.

“It demonstrates the sorts of talents we need across all sectors, as well as developing entrepreneurial skills and interest in self-employment.’’

To find out more about the BiG Challenge visit

lDLA Piper has retained the number one position in the Mergermarket M&A league tables by volume of transactions in 2010.

As activity levels picked up in the M&A market, the firm’s corporate practice saw a significant increase in both deal volume and transaction value.  The considerable increase in the ‘value’ rankings in the league tables saw the firm jump from 70 to 24, showing the strength of DLA Piper’s expertise in the UK.

The firm’s international platform also offers significant advantages to clients with transactions that involve multiple jurisdictions.

The last 12 months has seen an upturn in the corporate M&A market. As a result of this the DLA Piper Sheffield office has completed over 30 deals worth approximately £185 million in the past year.