School business team triumphs

A TEAM of youngsters from a Suffolk school are celebrating after their rainy day idea scooped two awards at a regional enterprise event. Twenty-five lower sixth students from Woodbridge School pitted their umbrella business, Tollie's Brollies, against that of five other teams in the Young Enterprise East of England Company of the Year contest, where they scooped the runners up Young Business of the Year award, and the marketing award.

A TEAM of youngsters from a Suffolk school are celebrating after their rainy day idea scooped two awards at a regional enterprise event.

Twenty-five lower sixth students from Woodbridge School pitted their umbrella business, Tollie's Brollies, against that of five other teams in the Young Enterprise East of England Company of the Year contest, where they scooped the runners up Young Business of the Year award, and the marketing award.

They were beaten into second place by Sharnbrook Upper School and Community College in Bedfordshire at the event, held in Cambridge on Tuesday night .

A team from Tendring Technology College in Essex took the ICSA Good Governance title.

Each of the six teams were made up of young people aged 14 to 19 who have run their own companies for the past 10 months and have already won their area and county finals.

“We have independent research which shows that young people who take part in our company programme are twice as likely to start up their own company,” said Paul Beeson, chief executive officer of Young Enterprise East of England.

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“Anyone doubting this evidence should have witnessed the event. To see what these young people have achieved is not just impressive - it's inspiring.”

The Tollie's Brollies team hand-decorated dome umbrellas and sold them to shops and directly to the public. They also created bespoke umbrellas for local businesses.

Janine Wright, business studies tutor at Woodbridge School, said: “I am thrilled for Tollie's Brollies. They worked so hard during the year and in doing so have gained the key foundation of running a business.

“I would urge all schools to take part in this scheme as it truly gives students an insight into the business world and will certainly encourage those with entrepreneurial ambition.”