Students from Taunton School narrowly missed out on the top title in the South West Young Enterprise Regional Final having been chosen to represent Somerset at the event.
The overall honours went to Balcarras School, Gloucestershire, which was named Best Overall Company. The final, held at Kings Weston House, Bristol, celebrated students who had set up and run a company over the academic year as part of the Young Enterprise Company Programme, supported nationally by HSBC UK.
Seven teams from the South West competed across eight categories – Creativity, Sustainability, Best Presentation, Customer Service, Innovation, Financial Management, Marketing and Teamwork– with a prize for each.
Taunton School students set up Go-Sip, a social enterprise selling fruit tea and mugs to encourage communication.
The winning team, Sustain from Balcarras School, created and sold a children’s activity book and app. They will now go on to represent the South West at the UK Company of the Year final in London on 18th June and could potentially represent the UK in the JA European final.
Young Enterprise is a national charity which works to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in the changing world of work.
This year, students across the country have set up almost 1,000 companies over the academic year, making 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.
Michael Mercieca, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, said: “Reaching the company programme regional final represents an inspirational journey with many months of hard work, teamwork, creativity and resilience.
“The experience and skills students from every team will have developed will stay with them for many years to come and we are greatly encouraged by our research which shows that 94% of Company Programme alumni go on to education, employment or training – 5% higher than the national average.”
Ian Stuart, HSBC UK CEO, said: “HSBC has supported the Company Programme for the last 32 years with colleagues across the UK volunteering their time and expertise to nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs. It’s fantastic to see students deal with real life business decisions and develop employability skills such as creativity, resilience and communication.
The Company Programme is a great way for young people to prepare themselves for the future world of business.”