YOUNG entrepreneurs from Devonport High School for Girls in Plymouth clinched the title ‘YE’s Best Overall Company 2019’ at the YE Devon Awards Final today.
The enterprising event, held at the Met Office in Exeter, celebrates the achievements of students who have started fledgling businesses with the help of the financial education charity Young Enterprise.
DHSG’s YE company Nemeton beat off some stiff competition from 5 other schools after presenting their company to a panel of judges, answering some tough interview questions; showcasing their wares on a trade stand and marketing their companies digitally. The team impressed the judges with their potential solution to the EU’s proposed 2020 single-use plastic ban with its bamboo straw. Their sustainable and innovative product also incorporates a biodegradable flexible attachment which enables the head of the straw to move.
MD of Nemeton Bethany McGregor was ‘proud’ to be holding the winning trophy, sponsored by TDK Lambda. She said: “We are very excited to be going through to the next round but it wouldn’t have been possible without such a hardworking and passionate team.”
Nemeton will go through to the South West Final at Kings Weston House, Bristol, on Thursday, 9th May. Bethany added: “We are extremely grateful to our business advisers and YE for this amazing opportunity. At the start it was difficult to think of an idea but once we got started it made us realise how important it is for everyone to be really behind the product. We set out to solve a problem based on sustainability and inclusivity and we have achieved our aim.”
DHSG teacher and YE Centre Lead Deidre McMahon said: “It’s fantastic to see the journey the students have gone on. Their enterprising and employability skills have progressed immensely. We are very grateful to YE for the opportunity for the students to develop their soft skills which are fundamental in today’s working world.”
EverOcean from The Maynard School, Exeter, were awarded the Runner Up trophy, sponsored by Bishop Fleming and the Teamwork trophy sponsored by Teachout. Protect from Plymouth High School for Girls won the Sustainability trophy, sponsored by Devon Contract Waste and Activate from Ilfracombe Academy clinched the Customer Service award, sponsored by SWBC.
YE Area Manager Marian Weston said: “The teams have all done a fantastic job and worked extremely hard, with the support of their teachers and volunteer business advisers. They should all be extremely proud of their achievements.
“We are very grateful for the fantastic support we have received from the business community. We particularly appreciate the support of the Met Office who provided a fantastic venue for the awards final.”
The YE Company Programme enables youngsters to gain invaluable employability skills through running their own business. Selling to members of the public is all part of their learning journey. Helping them to develop skills such as communication, team work, organisation, problem solving and financial capability, the scheme really boosts their confidence and helps the students gain experience that will be extremely useful to them in the future.
Young Enterprise research shows Company Programme participants develop key employability skills and a longitudinal study of Company Programme alumni has shown that in the two years following their company’s closure, 94% are in education, employment or training [EET] – 7% higher than the national rate.
The local Young Enterprise board always welcomes local business who would like to get involved either through volunteering or providing financial support. For further details contact YE Area Managers Marian Weston ([email protected]) or Stephanie Anderson ([email protected]).