Students from Cheadle Hulme School have been crowned Best Overall Company at the Greater Manchester Young Enterprise County Final, with Bolton School Girls Division and Withington Girls School both coming Runner-Up companies. The final, held at University Campus Oldham on 28th March, celebrated students who have set up and run a company over the academic year as part of the Young Enterprise Company Programme, supported nationally by HSBC UK.
Twelve teams from across Greater Manchester competed across three categories – Teamwork, Sustainability, and Customer Service – with a prize for each. The winning team Eco Sippin’ from Cheadle Hulme School, along with the two runner up companies, Explore from Bolton School Girls Division and Warrior from Withington Girls School, will all go on to represent Greater Manchester at the North West Regional Company of the Year final in Lancaster on 8th May 2019.
Young Enterprise is a national charity which works to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in the changing world of work. This year, students across the country have set up almost 1,000 companies over the academic year, making all the decisions about their business, from deciding the company name and product, to creating a business plan, managing their finances and selling their products.
The winning team, Eco Sippin’ created and sold metal straws to tackle the growing issue of plastic waste. The two runners-up; Warrior created a wooden wristband aimed at raising awareness of mental health; and Explore created a children’s book called ‘Hello World’ which explores different countries and cultures.
The Managing Director of the winning team, from Cheadle Hulme School, said: “The experience of being part of the Young Enterprise Programme has been amazing. It has helped me develop so many skills that will help me in the future. I have learnt a lot about the running of a business from our business adviser and managing a large team has helped me to improve my leadership and communication skills. Winning the Greater Manchester Final has given us all so much confidence and has proven the importance of teamwork. I am very proud of the whole team.”
Andrew Hornsby, teacher at Cheadle Hulme School, added: “Attending the Greater Manchester Final was an excellent experience for our team. The standard of competition was very high and winning has given everyone in the team a lot of confidence and enthusiasm to keep going. Everyone in the team is passionate about the environmental issues that excessive use of plastic causes and they will continue to raise awareness of this issue with the products they sell.”
The companies were judged by Annie Wigglesworth (GM Chamber of Commerce), Alexandra Munro (GE), and Andrew Lightowler (Civica). The judges also awarded trophies for Teamwork, Sustainability and Customer Service to students from Bury Grammar Schools, The Blue Coat School and Oldham Hulme Grammar School. Founder and CEO of Team Spirit, Ian Taylor gave an inspirational speech to the participants about his career and what it’s like to run a successful business.
Judge, Andrew Lightowler, Development Manager for Civica, said: “This is the first time I have been involved with Young Enterprise and I have to say how much I have enjoyed the experience. It was great to meet and talk to the teams and see first-hand the depth of talent from the students and their passion and enthusiasm for their products and services.
I was impressed with both the variety and quality of their enterprises and how the teams had really taken sustainability, environmental and wider social impact into the heart of what they were doing.
I’d like to wish the EcoSippin, Explore and Warrior teams the best of luck in the next stage of the process.”
“The Civica Award for Customer Service was awarded to the “Make and Design” team, who had identified, designed and manufactured an innovative product that really solved a customer problem. They had actively sought feedback from their customers through social media and their website. Their product had been extensively tested and so confident where they of its quality, that they even offered a money back guarantee!”
Kashif Ashraf, Oldham Enterprise Trust, said: “We were delighted to kick off our Oldham Festival for Business with the Young Enterprise Greater Manchester County Final. The Oldham Enterprise Trust has invested greatly in Young Enterprise’s Company Programme over the years and is a proud supporter of what the programme achieves. The teams tonight all did themselves proud and demonstrated just what the future has to offer in business.”
Katherine Griffiths, University Campus Oldham, said: “It was our pleasure to host the YE Greater Manchester event and support such a positive initiative.
The young people displayed creativity, resilience, and imagination, and have all worked really hard along their journeys to produce such high-quality projects.
Their professionalism and the range of topics was great to see, and what really struck me was the team work as I watched them set up, rehearse and prepare for their meetings with the judges and their presentations.”
Ian Stuart, HSBC UK CEO, said: “HSBC has supported the Company Programme for the last 32 years with colleagues across the UK volunteering their time and expertise to nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs. It’s fantastic to see students deal with real life business decisions and develop employability skills such as creativity, resilience and communication.
The Company Programme is a great way for young people to prepare themselves for the future world of business.”
The schools competing in the Greater Manchester Young Enterprise Company Programme Final were:
• Blue Coat Worldwide
• Make & Design
• Captain & Co.
• Better Day
• Honey Box
|• Bolton School Girls’ Division
• The Manchester College
• Oldham Hulme Grammar School
• The Blue Coat School
• Bury Grammar School for Girls
• Cheadle Hulme School
• Withington Girls’ School
• Stockport Grammar School
• North Chadderton School
• Stretford Grammar School
• Altrincham Grammar School for Boys
• Winstanley College