Eight schools to compete at Suffolk Young Enterprise award final

The Debenham High School team which was overall winner at the 2014 Suffolk Young Enteprise contest,

The Debenham High School team which was overall winner at the 2014 Suffolk Young Enteprise contest, with the six trophies they picked up at the event. - Credit: Archant

Eight teams have made it through to the final stage of the Suffolk Young Enterprise contest, which is being hosted next week by BT at Adastral Park, Martlesham.

The annual competition involves teams of 16- and 17-year-old students from schools, academies and colleges running their own business over several months, developing, marketing and delivering a product or service of their own creation.

Teams which make it to the final have to display their product or service at a trade stand and answer questions from the judges as they tour the exhibits, and then make a presentation on their business and its achievements to the judging panel.

The eight finalists, who will be competing for a total of 18 awards, include:

Bubble, East Berghot High School: T-shirts, beanies and jumpers commemorating school visits to places of interest;

Enlighten Candles, East Bergholt High School: A different team of directors producing scented candles in jars;

KarKip, Thurston Community College: Products to help car passengers sleep in comfort during the journey;

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Re-Do, Woodbridge School: Pre-used items converted into products including coasters, candles and necklaces;

SJC Enterprise, St Joseph’s College: Wristbands and calendars celebrating the National Schools Rugby Festival;

U-Cycle, Ipswich School: A DIY booklet that advises young readers on ways in which pre-used items can be recycled;

Vision, Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge: Vinyl records transformed into unique clocks, and candles in glasses;

Yento, Thomas Mills High School, Framlingham: Suffolk-themed picture frames and travel board games.

The five judges will include Cliff Matthews, a consultant on sustainable energy, and Tony Houghton, educational development director at the Cambridge Centre for Innovation in Technological Education, who are both members of the Suffolk Young Enterprise board.

Completing the line-up with be Jess Fenton, head of the creativity team at Adnams, Lauren Singleton, organisation development advisor at the Port of Felixstowe, and Nicola Corbett, Sizewell C communications officer at EDF Energy.

Eddy Alcock, chairman of the Suffolk Young Enterprise board, pictured above, who will also act as non-voting chairman of the panel, said: “Every year we attract judges from a wide range of industries and responsibilities and this year is no exception.

“There is no doubt they will examine every fine detail of the skills employed by the student company directors and probe deeply for knowledge gained by the students when they conduct interviews on the trade stands as part of the judging process.

“Presentation skills, product knowledge and the confidence exhibited by the young people will play important parts in the outcome of the competition.”

The prize for the overall winner prize is being sponsored by EDF Energy, with Suffolk Agricultural Association also providing a free stand at the Suffolk Show, and the runner-up prize is sponsored by the Port of Felixstowe.

Other awards (and their sponsors) include: Best Company Report (Associated British Ports), Best PowerPoint Presentation (BT), Best Trade Stand (Adnams), Best Green/Environmentally Aware Product (Notcutts), Communications (Suffolk Chamber of Commerce), Company Administration (University Campus Suffolk), Customer Focus, Marketing and Sales (Lowestoft College), Financial Systems and Results (Ensors Chartered Accountants), Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Suffolk County Council), Objective Setting/Planning/Review (West Suffolk College), Problem Solving/Overcoming Adversity (Suffolk Young Enterprise board), Product Development (Framlingham Technology Centre), Skills and Understanding (Suffolk New College), Social Innovation (East of England Co-operative Society) and Teamwork (Haven Gateway Partnership).

The final takes place on Wednesday, April 22. The overall winner from Suffolk will go forward to a regional event to be held in Cambridge in June, with the winner there qualifying for the national final in London in July. National winners from a number of countries will also take part in an international competition during August.

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