Business students from across Northern Ireland are becoming CEOs for a day, through a ground-breaking business simulation initiative organised by Queen’s Management School, BDO Northern Ireland and the Henderson Group.

The business strategy challenge, supported by CCEA, will take place on Friday 22nd November and encourages A-level students to put theory into practice by bringing learning to real life.

The purpose of this project is to prepare students as future business leaders, place them into the mind-set of a CEO, highlight the impact of decisions across different areas of a business and promote strategic thinking and team building.

Students can test their business skills and knowledge using the real-time simulator, with their decisions being appraised by a panel of business experts from BDO Northern Ireland, Henderson Group and Queen’s Management School.

Launching the initiative, Laura Jackson, Partner at BDO Northern Ireland said:

“At BDO Northern Ireland we are proud to help prepare young talent for successful careers. Having been involved in this project from its inception, along with Queens University, this collaboration allows us to help educate and inspire the business leaders of tomorrow, giving them a real flavour of what running a business and managing teams is all about. In addition to testing practical skills, we will be helping the next generation use their initiative, test their judgement and help their decision-making abilities.

“The event will provide students with a unique experience, with the perfect balance of blended learning to further enhance their skills and knowledge.”

Professor Ciaran Connolly from Queen’s University Management School explained:

“The challenge acts as a practical learning tool, emphasising the importance of good communication and informative decision making. As the business game scenarios align closely to teachings in the Business Studies curriculum, this enables students to apply real world experiences to their studies.”

“To have such experienced judges on the panel, students have the added advantage of receiving constructive criticism and expertise from the best in business, gaining valuable insights into the local business environment and the challenges they face.”

Ron Whitten, Chief Financial Officer at Henderson added:

“The NI Business Simulator highlights the high standards and demands that is expected of those entering the work place along with identifying the skillset needed to help them rise to the top. We are incredibly proud to have the opportunity to work with these exceptionally talented young people and to support our local educational institutions in developing the practical skills and experience of the next generation of CEO’s.”

Teams must register before Friday 8 November 2019, with the Finals Day taking place on Friday 22 November 2019 in Queen’s Management School (Riddel Hall, 185 Stranmillis Road, Belfast) from 10am. Further information can be found at . You can also register your team today by emailing:


Upon registration, a separate simulation log-in will be provided for each team so that students can become familiar with the game and develop their skills prior to the event on Friday 22 November 2019.