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Young teams pit their wits against start-up businesses at Plymouth trade fair

Thirteen teams entered the competition which was sponsored by Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.

xmas teams

Kelly College students Lauren Rose, Amy Lloyd, Lewis Knight and Ryan Whitson-Fay.

YOUNG entrepreneurs tested their embryonic businesses against ‘real’ companies at a Christmas trade fair at the weekend.

The fair at the Guildhall put young teams to the test to see whether they could hold their own against already functioning start-up businesses.

Thirteen teams entered the competition which was sponsored by Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.

Coombe Dean School, South Dartmoor College, University Technical College and Lipson Cooperative School entered teams for the first time.

The young teams set up their own trading companies over the course of a school year.

The businesses even had a board of directors and could sell shares. They were able to design, make and sell products and then liquidate and pay taxes at the end of the year.

Pupils from Devonport High School for Boys were selling clocks mounted onto old vinyl records. Tor Bridge High students had a stall laden with decorative handmade Christmas decorations.

Two umbrella organisations, Young Enterprise and Outset, organised the event.

Manager at Young Enterprise Morven Maclean was one of those behind the project.

She said: “The project is important as it gives young people a taste of what it’s like to set up and run a business, motivating entrepreneurs of the future.

“The Christmas fair was an opportunity to buy some unique and innovative Christmas presents.

“I’m pleased to see the enthusiasm and commitment shown by our teams this year.”

Plymouth-based production and film company TwoFour were following all the teams throughout the various stages of the year in order to put together a film of their progress.

Each budding young business team attended a weekly board meeting where they receive advice from city business people. The professionals come from companies such as KPMG, Babcock, Bond Dickinson and Bishop Fleming.

Rob Guy, business finance advisor for joint organisers Outset, said: “The Christmas fair was a great opportunity for Plymouth’s start-up businesses to get themselves known and make vital new connections and sales during the busiest trading period of the year.

“As a Young Enterprise board member, I was thrilled that so many teams from local schools and colleges took part in this year’s project.”


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