News & Events

Medieval entrepreneurs enable Young Enterprise to boost school take up in North Yorkshire

MAs Crest


BACKING from an historic guild founded by medieval entrepreneurs will be helping a national charity train a record number of modern innovators in North Yorkshire.

The Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York has a proud history dating back to the 14th century, when the city’s business leaders first joined together to pool their experience, trade with each other, care for the poor and to pray.

Today’s members remain people of influence with proven business acumen, although they no longer trade as a corporate entity under the banner of the Merchant Adventurers.

But, in the spirit of the founding fathers who once travelled the world to open new trade routes or bring home new wonders, the organisation has confirmed continued investment in Young Enterprise in North Yorkshire.

And, thanks to their support, North Yorkshire Young Enterprise manager Jill Tinsley has confirmed a record number of schools will be taking part in the 2013 /2014 Company Programme.

“Programmes like the BBC’s Young Apprentice have helped switch more young people onto the idea of running their own business when they leave education – but the support from the Merchant Adventurers has certainly given us the opportunity to engage with more of them than ever before,” she said.

“We may be emerging from the worst recession in decades – but these young people could be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow and, thanks to the support from the Merchant Adventurers, we have an opportunity to teach them vital skills should they decide to start businesses of their own.”

The Company of Merchant Adventurers first invested in North Yorkshire Young Enterprise in 2010 when the historic hall hosted the regional presentation night at the end of the Company Programme.

Schools taking part this year include:


From Craven:

South Craven School, Crosshills

Ermysteds Grammar School, Skipton

Skipton Girls High School, Skipton

Settle College


From Harrogate:

St Aidans School Harrogate

Harrogate Grammar School

Harrogate High School

King James’s School

Ripon Grammar School

Outwood Academy, Ripon


From York and Ryedale

Tadcaster Grammar School

Sherburn High School

Millthorpe SchoolYork

Fulford School York

Joseph Rowntree School York

Huntington School York

Ryedale School Nawton


The Company Programme challenges each of the teams to allocate management roles to members and then to develop and sell a product through a number of trade fairs arranged by Young Enterprise.

The teams are mentored by real entrepreneurs or business leaders and their performance assessed through presentations, with awards presented for those deemed to have performed best. Any money they make, they are allowed to keep.

The winners of the Yorkshire competition are then invited to represent the region at the national finals with the winners of the UK contest representing their country in Europe.