Befordshire Area Final
A team of students from Bedford School who set up their own business to design and produce paper wallets have been named Bedfordshire’s Company of the Year at a Young Enterprise business competition on 20th March held at All Saints Academy in Dunstable.
The company ‘LionGrenade Designs’, which consists of 20 students, carried off the top prize for designing, producing and selling a range of fully recyclable wallets. As well as creating their own website the company set-up Facebook and Twitter accounts to ensure that their product was seen by their target audience. In just a few short months the group sold more than £2000 worth of wallets which they retailed at between £3 to £8 and were turning a profit.
All the students from the eight teams that competed had set up and run their own businesses for a year, with the help of local business mentors, after taking part in a Young Enterprise scheme to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and prepare young people for the world of work. During the competition they were grilled by an expert team of judges from Wenta and Discimus Associates Ltd. A particular mention should also go to Denbigh High School who scooped three awards for Best Trade Stand, Most Environmentally Aware and Best Teamwork after producing their very own children’s book. They even got an endorsement from CBBC presenter Gemma Hunt who can be seen reading the book in the video section of their company website.
Chair of Judges David Fraser, Director of Discimus Associates Ltd said: “What really made the winners stand out was the passion and commitment to both their company and their product. They really researched what their target market would be looking for and even managed to find a specialist product manufacturer in Shanghai who would be willing to work with them on the design until they achieved samples they were proud to produce”. Fellow judge Steve Pryor , Business Advisor at Wenta was equally impressed and said: “We are proud to be associated with Young Enterprise. The commitment and enthusiasm of all the students who take part is fantastic. From a professional point of view, it is enlightening and encouraging to see future entrepreneurs emerge as a result of their involvement in Young Enterprise”.
Catriona Austin, Young Enterprise Manager for the East of England, said: “All the students had set up great businesses this year and it was an extremely tough decision for our judges. There was only a few marks between the top two companies.” LionGrenade Designs from Bedford School will now go forward in the regional final, the East of England Young Enterprise Awards, at QueensCollege in Cambridge on 24th June 2013. Liongrenade Designs Managing Director Kushal Kansagra said: “We’re committed to continuing our business and excited to be representing Bedfordshire and our school at the regional competition.”