School business team's regional success

A GROUP of budding entrepreneurs from Suffolk beat teams from the other five counties across the region to win the Young Enterprise East of England Company of the Year competition.

A GROUP of budding entrepreneurs from Suffolk beat teams from the other five counties across the region to win the Young Enterprise East of England Company of the Year competition.

The winning company, formed by the students of Woodbridge School, was Iceni, which has developed two distinct brands - “Polka”, which includes polka-dot painted brooms and terracotta plant pots, and “Tailor”, which involves hand-made jewellery and individually made clothing.

Flo Gillingham, managing director of Iceni said: “It has been a rollercoaster of learning for all company members and lessons have been learned in abundance.

“The experience of founding and developing Iceni has provided company members with a valuable insight into the world of business, while also enforcing the values of respect, dedication and perseverance.”


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Each of the six competing companies in the regional final - held at St Catharine's College, Cambridge - were made up of young people aged from 14 to 19 who had successfully run their own companies for the past 10 months and had qualified by winning area and county finals.

The judging process involved a written 10 page company report, answering questions at a company display stand, a more detailed interview with the judges and finally a five minute presentation.

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The company directors of Iceni will now represent the East of England region and compete for the coveted title of Young Enterprise UK Company of the Year at London's Savoy Hotel on Monday and Tuesday next week.

Clive Hyman, chairman of Young Enterprise East of England, said: “My congratulations to Iceni of Woodbridge School on winning the title of Best Company at the East of England Young Enterprise awards. It's a major achievement, and one of which they can be justifiably proud.”

However, the Young Enterprise programme was “not just about prizes”, added Mr Hyman.

“Nearly 5,000 young people, representing over 400 companies from schools and colleges across the East of England region, have completed the Young Enterprise programme and learnt about how business works,” he said.

“There is also an enormous business community effort which helps young people gain vital skills for their future careers. Each year more than 250 business volunteers in the East of England give their time regularly helping students run companies.”

Anyone interested in getting involved with Young Enterprise should visit www.yeee.org.uk . More details about the East of England's winning company are available at www.iceniuk.com .

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