STUDENTS from East Sussex have proved they have a head for business after impressing the judges in a national competition.
Teams from Robertsbridge Community College, Seaford Head and Bishop Bell battled against schools from across Sussex for a place in the regional finals of the Young Enterprise competition – with Bishop Bell victorious.
A total of 690 students from 17 schools across East Sussex took part in this year’s competition, which sees youngsters creating companies, developing and marketing a product, before selling it at trade fairs.
The efforts of the 64 companies created were judged by the Young Enterprise Panel, who selected three teams to go through to the Sussex final;
• Robertsbridge Community College; Siren Designs – producing tie dyed cloth bags
• Bishop Bell, Eastbourne; Quantique – producing a range of letter-themed products including cuff-links, magnets and coasters
• Seaford Head; East Sussex Iconic – producing mugs with Sussex-based photographs and poetry
After impressing the panel at the Sussex final with their product, business plan and sales figures earlier this month, the team from Bishop Bell were selected to go on to the regional round to fight for a place in the national finals.
Student Hannah, managing director of Bishop Bell’s Quantique, said: “We’re thrilled to win Best Overall Company for Young Enterprise in Sussex. It means so much to us and makes the hard work well worth it.
“We’ve come such a long way since we started the Company Programme in September last year, and have learned so much.”
Cllr Nick Bennett, lead member for learning and school effectiveness at East Sussex County Council said: “I am delighted that East Sussex schools have had such success in this competition and pleased that we could provide funding to enable ten schools to take part in this year’s contest.
“It is great to see the range of ideas and products created by these teams and I wish Bishop Bell’s company all the best for the regional finals.”
Cllr Bennett added: “Initiatives like Young Enterprise are great for helping to develop the attitudes and skills needed to be a success in business and helping to boost employability.”
As well as producing the winning team for the county, East Sussex schools also won a number of categories;
• Best Product / Service – Quantique from Bishop Bell
• Best Trade Stand – Quantique from Bishop Bell
• Best Corporate Management – East Sussex Iconic from Seaford Head School
East Sussex Iconic from Seaford Head School was also highly commended in the Most Improved Company category.
Wendy Gorham, Young Enterprise Manager for East Sussex, said: “We’ve had some great companies set up by young people in Sussex this year with some wonderful innovative products and they’ve demonstrated a real entrepreneurial thirst for business.
“The judges at the county final scrutinised their business reports and profit margins and each team showcased their products and gave a presentation. It was a great opportunity for them to demonstrate the business skills they’ve learnt on the Young Enterprise Company Programme.”
Bishop Bell will compete in the regional finals on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.
The Young Enterprise Company Programme, sponsored by HSBC, enables young people, aged 14 to 19, to set up and run a real company for a year with guidance and mentoring from a business volunteer, and they then have the to sell their products at local trade fairs and to compete with others schools at finals locally, then regionally, nationally and globally.
This year, East Sussex County Council funded ten schools to take part in the competition.