Debenham: High school students claim awards double in East of England Young Enterprise contest

The You.N.G team from Debenham High School with their stand at the East of England final of the 2013

The You.N.G team from Debenham High School with their stand at the East of England final of the 2013 Young Enterprise competition - Credit: Archant

Students from a Suffolk high school have won two regional awards in the 2013 Young Enterprise competition, in which pupils are encouraged to try running their own business.

The You.N.G (Next Generation) team from Debenham High School won both the Trade Stand & Customer Service Award and the Marketing Award for their venture promoting high-visibility road safety products, and was also “highly commended” in the overall Company of the Year category.

You.N.G won through to the regional event, held at Queen’s College, Cambridge, by winning a county event ahead of 11 other teams from schools and colleges around Suffolk.

In the regional final, they were up against other teams representing a seven other schools, including Colchester Royal Grammar and King Edward VI Grammar, Chelmsford, from Essex, Norwich School, representing Norfolk, Verulam and Knights Templar schools from Hertfordshire, Kimbolton School, representing Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, and Bedford School, Befordshire.

The Company of the Year award went to Route 144, the team from Knights Templar School, in Baldock, which also won the New Media and Innovation awards.

Others winners included Nouveau Slate Decor from Verulam School, St Albans (Environment), Liongrenade from Bedford School (Company Report) and Fulcrum from Kimbolton School (Presentation).

Eddy Alcock, chairman of the Suffolk Young Enterprise board, said: “For a school without a Sixth Form, and therefore a team from Year 10, Debenham High School did Suffolk proud in competition against Year 11/12 students from elsewhere in the East of England.”

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The You.N.G team developed a range of high-visibility products, including snap bands, hang tags and key rings, designed to be appealing to children, so making them more likely to wear them

As part of their business venture, they visited a number of local primary schools and also met with the road safety team from Suffolk County Council, encouraging road safety officers to sell their products as well.

Specific students filled key company roles, such as managing director and finance director and, besides sales and marketing, team members learned other skills such as keeping financial records and how to run meetings.

From its launch in October to the end of February, they achieved sales of £1,127 and a profit of £748.89.

In the conclusions within their company report, the students from You.N.G said: “We believe that we have achieved a lot in our time as a Young Enterprise Company.

“We have learned about the technicalities of running a business but foremost, we have learnt valuable life skills including how to present ourselves professionally, valuable listening and co-operation skills and finally, how important planning and organisation is to running a business of any kind.

“Throughout the running of Young Enterprise we have learnt huge amounts about the business world, and have learnt skills that will last a lifetime.”