Twelve school teams to battle it out in final of Suffolk Young Enterprise competition

The winning team from Thomas Mills High School with their trophy at last year's Suffolk Young Enterp

The winning team from Thomas Mills High School with their trophy at last year's Suffolk Young Enterprise event. - Credit: Archant

A dozen teams of budding entrepreneurs from schools and colleges across the county have reached the final of the 2016 Suffolk Young Enterprise competition.

The annual contest, in which students have to establish and run a mini-business, this year attracted an increased entry of 17 teams from 15 different schools.

Businesses to have made it through to the county final are: IT write it, hear it, eat it and Doodle (both from East Bergholt High School), EqualiTea (Ipswich School), Strive (Thurston Community College), The Wick & Wax Company (Woodbridge School), Daisy Chain (Ipswich High School for Girls), Ethereal (Alde Valley Academy, Leiston), Memo-it (Debenham High), PegIT (Newmarket Academy), BlueHorizon (West Suffolk College), Second Klass (Mildenhall Academy) and Eclipse (Thomas Mills High, Framlingham).

They will compete for a total of 18 awards at the county final, to be staged at University Campus Suffolk (UCS) in Ipswich on April 27, with the overall winners going on to compete in a regional event taking place in Cambridge in June and, potentially, the national final in July and a European event in August.

The Suffolk competition will be judged by a panel including Nicola Corbett, Sizewell C communications officer at EDF Energy, Jonathan Legh-Smith, head of partnerships and strategic research at BT Technology, Service & Operations, Lauren Singleton, HR manager, service centre, at the Port of Felixstowe, Dr Daba Chowdhury, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship and marketing at UCS, and Siobahn Eke, project manager at Adnams.

The final will involve the teams putting together a trade stand, where they will be visited and interviewed by the judges, a company report and a formal presentation.

Eddy Alcock, who is chairman of Young Enterprise’s Suffolk board and will act as non-voting chairman of the judging panel, said: “Seven months creating and running your own business has to be the best way of overcoming the common complaint from businesses that the modern day school leaver ‘is not fit to enter the workplace’.

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“In fact, many businesses look for Young Enterprise experience on the CVs of students seeking full-time work placements and there can be no better way of ‘Raising the Bar’ in educational achievement than through this real life experience.”