Students from King Edward VI High School in Stafford have been crowned Best Overall Company at West Midlands Young Enterprise Regional Final.
The final, held at the University of Wolverhampton in June, celebrated students who have set up and run a company over the academic year as part of the HSBC supported Young Enterprise Company Programme.
Six teams from the West Midlands competed across three categories – Best Report, Best Trade Stand and Best Presentation – with a prize for each.
The winning Stafford team, Orbit Interactive, created and sold an educational book for young children combining traditional book and digital media in the form of an augmented reality app. The book takes children on a virtual adventure and the free app uses state of the art technology to bring the book to life and test the knowledge of the user.
Ellie Wright, a student from Orbit Interactive, said: “Taking part in the Young Enterprise Company Programme has been a fantastic experience, driven by determination and hard work.”
Philip White, Cabinet Support Member for Learning and Skills at Staffordshire County Council, added his congratulations. He said: “We’ve been following the progress of all the Young Enterprise companies including Orbit Interactive closely since the start of the programme. Winning the West Midlands final is a great achievement and they should all be very proud of themselves.
“All the Young Enterprise teams have been on an exciting learning journey, creating their company, developing and pitching their business ideas and getting out selling to the public. These skills will be of great use to the participants when they enter the jobs market in the future.”
Michael Mercieca, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, said: “ “You don’t get this stuff from a text book and we are greatly encouraged by our research which shows that 95% of Company alumni go on to education, employment or training – 7% higher than the national average of 88%.”
The companies were judged by Stephen Grady (University of Wolverhampton), Elizabeth Bell (A F Blakemore), Gary Dimmock (Outreach & Business Solutions Centres Manager, Wolverhampton University), Lucy Francis (Caterpillar Shrewsbury Ltd) and David Gallagher (NEC Group Ltd). The judges also presented Best Report, Best Trade Stand and Best Presentation awards to students from The King’s High and Warwick Schools, Walsall Academy and Malvern St James School.
Young Enterprise works with over 250,000 students every year and thousands of young people aged 15-19 from across the country have set up and run a real business or social enterprise over the academic year with Company Programme – Young Enterprise’s flagship enterprise education programme supported nationally by HSBC. Company Programme students have made all the decisions about their business, from deciding the company name and product, to creating a business plan, managing their finances and selling their products.
Young Enterprise research shows Company Programme participants develop key employability skills and a longitudinal study of Company Programme alumni has shown that in the two years following their company’s closure, 95% are in education, employment or training [EET] – 7% higher than the national rate of 88%.
Ian Stuart, HSBC UK CEO, said: “We’re delighted to support Company Programme with HSBC volunteers working with students across the country. It’s fantastic to see students deal with real life business decisions and develop employability skills such as creativity, resilience and communication”
Gary Dimmock, Outreach and Business Solutions Centres Manager, said: “This whole evening has been very inspirational. The effort, thought and creativity that these young people have put into running their businesses is a credit to themselves and to their schools. They are an inspiration and hope for the future of business in this country, with young people like these coming into the business world, we can’t go wrong.”
The schools competing in the West Midlands Young Enterprise Company Programme Final were:
Inspire & Grow, who produced seed and baking kits from Walsall Academy
Dynamic, who created a box and book based on mindfulness from Malvern Academy
Zest, who created a book for 4-7 year olds tackling health and obesity from Arden Academy, Knowle
Crucial Compacts who produced a range of themed boxes, from Newport Girls’ High School
Orbit Interactive who created an interactive book and app, from King Edward VI High School, Stafford
Azure who produced an educational book for children, from The King’s High School for Girls and Warwick School
Pictured are directors of Orbit Interactive Henry Lapworth, Niles Butler & Ellie Wright with teacher Richard Shutt, judge Stephen Grady and business adviser Chris Young.