Students from across Cornwall attended the Young Enterprise Spring Trade Fair on Lemon Quay, Truro on Saturday 15th March with each team demonstrating that Cornwall has some very talented young entrepreneurs and customers were drawn in by some very enthusiastic and effective sales techniques.
The teams involved in the Young Enterprise Company Programme set up and run a real businesses for a year under the guidance of volunteers from the local business community. They do everything from raising the initial share capital and designing and making their product or service to selling directly to customers at specially organised trade fairs and ultimately winding up the firm and paying their taxes.
The event was attended by 9 teams from Fowey Community College, Newquay Tretherras School, Truro School, Cornwall College St Austell, Cornwall College Camborne, Treviglas College Newquay and Richard Lander School Truro.
Business Studies teacher at Fowey Community College, Lesley Wehmeyer, said, ‘The Young Enterprise Scheme has proved the perfect complement to the first year of our new GCSE Business Studies course. It has enabled the students to gain first-hand experience of setting up a business, including elements of product design and development, marketing and finance. I am delighted with the success of team Eventus and very proud of the dedication and perseverance shown by both teams of young entrepreneurs.’
Judges from the local business community included Aren Grimshaw from Minchin Grimshaw, Rachel Jones from Enterprise Foundation South West, Gary Langan from Lloyds Banking and Bernadette Snow from Asda. They were looking for eye-catching stall displays, as well as marketing, the quality of products and innovation, financial handling and customer service. Rachel Jones commented “I was delighted to have the opportunity of judging several Schools on Saturday and meeting many young people with real entrepreneurial spirit! Judging was a tough process as each School had created very good business ideas with clear marketing opportunities, strong financial data and excellent teams with shared responsibility, clearly highlighting individual’s skills. Cornwall is set for some real future talent”.
‘Tidal’ from Newquay Tretherras won the ‘Most Innovative Product’ category with their ‘Lazy Gardener’ organic herb and vegetable boxes.
‘Treviglas Enterprise’ trading as ‘Cornish Collections’ from Treviglas College won the ‘Best Trade Stand’.
The ‘Best Customer Service’ award judged by our mystery shopper Amy Jones was awarded to ‘Innovation Enterprises’ from Cornwall College Camborne.
The ‘Best Overall Company’ was awarded to ‘Eventus’ from Fowey Community College for their ‘Ace Cases’ for mobile phones and the ‘Runner Up’ was ‘Tidal’ from Newquay Tretherras who also won ‘Most Innovative Product’ for their ‘Lazy Gardener’ products.
The prize money was donated by Ian Taylor from Coodes and the winning teams were presented with their certificates by Aren Grimshaw, one of the judges representing the Cornwall Chamber and he commented “It was great to see so many young people working together to form new businesses. The enthusiasm they showed for the products they had developed, and the work they had already put in to bringing their products to market serves as an inspiration for us all. No one left in any doubt that Cornwall’s business future is in safe hands.”
“It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm and dedication of these young people, who have worked extremely hard in such a short space of time to get ready for this event and I was really impressed by the confidence and how well they coped under pressure“‘ commented Jon from Imerys who has been supporting as a volunteer Business Adviser at Fowey Community College.
All the teams taking part in the Young Enterprise Company Programme will be invited to attend the Young Enterprise Cornwall Innovation Awards on 8th May at the Atlantic Hotel and we are looking for local businesses to support this event. The winning team will go through to the Young Enterprise South West Regional Finals in June and will also receive an invite to the prestigious Cornwall Business Awards at St Mellion on 15th May.
This renowned programme has been delivered by Young Enterprise in the UK since 1963 and in that time over a million 15-19 year olds have taken part. Apart from delivering aspects of work related learning under the National Curriculum, independent research shows it helps develop key skills that enhance young people’s employability and enterprise capabilities.
We are always looking for more schools to get involved with Young Enterprise and we need volunteers from the business community to act as Business Advisers.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be part of the Young Enterprise Company Programme starting in September or if you would like any further information on how you can support this great charity.