Young Enterprise were delighted to welcome over 100 guests to an event at Grosvenor’s Eaton Estate near Chester.
Young people from seven schools across Cheshire and Warrington competed for awards as part of their Young Enterprise Company Programme experience, with two teams selected to progress to the Northwest Final in May.
Company Programme is Young Enterprise’s flagship entrepreneurship programme, through which teams of young people set up and run a real-life trading business over the course of an academic year.
Combining this event with Young Enterprise’s 60th anniversary celebrations, the charity was pleased to welcome supporters and guests from diverse organisations to help recognise the young people’s achievements and celebrate their success.
Alick Salomon, the grandson of the founder of the charity, Sir Walter Salomon, welcomed attendees at the start of the event Alick noted how his grandfather founded Young Enterprise in 1962, inspired by the Junior Achievement Programme in the USA, which aimed to foster work readiness, entrepreneurship & financial literacy skills. Alick observed that his grandfather probably never imagined how the charity would evolve over the next 60 years, making a direct and meaningful impact for over 7.2 million young people in that time.
A panel of judges from the Westminster Foundation, Bentley, Encirc, Tata Chemicals Europe and Climbing Hut were responsible for assessing the teams and determining the winners of each award.
Encirc’s Sustainability Award was won by a team from Christleton High School, whose company ‘GlowIt’ recycled glass bottles into decorative ornaments, incorporating fairy lights for added glow.
Encirc also awarded the Runner-Up award to a team from Alderley Edge Girls School, whose company ‘My Little Lab Box’ created a box containing the components needed to create 13 experiments. This box linked each experiment to one of five female scientists and included an e-book about the lives of each woman, handwritten and illustrated by members of the team.
The Innovation Award, presented by Tata Chemicals Europe, was awarded to a team from Ellesmere Port Catholic High school. Their company, Gift a Mood, created bespoke gift boxes aimed to lift people’s moods and to mark events that would not normally be celebrated, such as divorce and failing a driving test.
The Teamwork Award, presented by Caroline da Cunha on behalf of the Westminster Foundation, was awarded to Iceberg Coffee, a team from Cheshire College South and West. Judges observed how this team had overcome a number of obstacles and pulled together to create a successful product.
Robbie, the Managing Director, commented: “Throughout Young Enterprise I have learnt resilience when working with the team, even when times got tough. I have also learned the value of teamwork with everyone giving great ideas while working together. Our ability to bounce back with our work, from changing the objective from pencil cases to coffee kits was impressive when we only had limited time left.”
The team from Abbey Gate College, Paws 2 Palm, whose business created dog leads from recycled climbing rope, picked up the Best Presentation and Marketing awards.
Ben Wilkins from Bentley, who presented the Marketing award, commented: “We were all really impressed by the professionalism of Paws 2 Palm, who created a truly unique and sustainable product, using resources that would otherwise go to landfill.” Paws 2 Palm were awarded Overall Winners for the Cheshire and Warrington Final, progressing with Runners Up award winners My Little Lab Box, to the next stage in the competition.
Concluding the event, YE’s CEO Sharon Davies commented: “We are truly grateful to the Westminster Foundation, not just for the opportunity to host our event here at Eaton Estate but also for our five- year partnership with this organisation and the sustained impact this enables us to make. It was a great privilege to be joined by Alick Salomon this evening as part of our 60th anniversary celebrations. His words truly brought to life how the skills of resilience, overcoming challenge and making the most of opportunities remain as important for young people today as they were for his family in the 1930s.