News & Events

New school to Young Enterprise wins the UK Company programme Final!

Students from Southborough High School, south west London, have been crowned the winners of the Young Enterprise UK Company of the Year title 2014.

UK Company of the Year 2014 ACE

Southborough won the award for their innovative business ACE, beating 13 other regional finalists from across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar. The final took place on Tuesday 1st July at the British Film Institute with guests including Countdown’s Rachel Riley in the annual final supported by HSBC.

This year nearly 22,000 students took part in the Company and Team programmes, setting up nearly 2,000 companies between them.

The winning product, Attache, is a pressure sensitive adhesive pad that grips firmly to any flat-surfaced object and retails at £5, with the team turning over £4,580 and making £2,030 profit to date. ACE will now go on to represent the UK at the European Final in Estonia on 22nd-25th July, competing with representatives from 37 other countries.

Managing Director, Sunny Ratilal 17, said: “It’s been a tough day as the standard of the competition was really high and we were very nervous beforehand. We do everything as a team though and we came through the challenge as team. We’ve learnt a lot from Young Enterprise over the last year and acquired new enterprise skills and this has been a great chance to showcase that.”

TV presenter Rachel Riley attended the Final and said: “It’s a great event and the teams are all really impressive. I feel so inspired. If I’d been taking part in the competition I would have set up a pet-sitting service. Finding a babysitter is easy but I think there’s a niche in the market for pet-sitting.”

Jermain Jackman, 19, singer and winner of The Voice UK 2014 was a guest at the event and said: “I had a brilliant evening and it’s been inspiring to see so many creative young people. It’s great that we’re acknowledging the work that they are doing.

“It’s blown me away seeing some of these presentations and all the hard work that they’ve put in. I ran a business when I was at school and that gave me so many skills and really set me up for life.”

The Nelson Thomlinson School represented the North East and Cumbria and came third with their company Digiπ, developing computer programming teaching/training materials to support primary school teachers with the 2014 computing curriculum change. Alleynes High School from the West Midlands were runners up with their company Ignite who produced Connect, a sturdy supporter designed to store smartphone, tablet or handheld games consoles for use when watching programmes, for a more comfortable and optimised viewing angle.

Lorraine Thomas, Senior Manager Education & UK Community Investment at HSBC Global Corporate Sustainability said: “To reach the UK Final of the Company programme is a tremendous achievement, and I want to congratulate all 14 teams on their success. ACE performed extremely well amongst stiff competition to be named Company of the Year 2014. I wish the team good luck as they go to represent the UK in Estonia.

“HSBC is a long standing supporter of Young Enterprise and we are constantly impressed by the students. It’s always great to see how they develop skills such as confidence and resilience over the course of the academic year.”

Michael Mercieca, CEO of Young Enterprise said: “I want to congratulate ACE on their tremendous achievement. Setting up a business, alongside regular studying is not easy to do but we have witnessed, yet again this year, thousands of pupils from all areas of the UK and all backgrounds and cultures use enterprise to really develop their skill sets.

“In the last year we’ve inspired a quarter of a million young people in this country to develop the skills they need for work and for life. The young people of Britain really are a credit to themselves.”


Other awards and winners were:


Founder’s Award: Scentsational, Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School

Retail Excellence supported by Asda: We.Are.Yorkshire, Skipton Girls High School

Innovation in IT supported by Cisco: ACE, Southborough High School

Production supported by GKN: Innov8, Presdales School

Journey Award: Luke Liddiard

Best Presentation: My Wee Highland Hame, Farr High School



HSBC UK education programmes

HSBC has been involved with education projects throughout our history. The first HSBC scholarship was awarded to a social worker in 1965. Since then, education has grown to be the most significant focus of the Group’s community investment activities.

Globally, we invest US$50 million a year in education projects and thousands of HSBC employees get involved.

In the UK, we donate £14million a year to education programmes, reaching over 41,000 young people through charities including Making The LEAP Teach First, Catch 22, St Giles Trust, Tomorrow’s People and The Prince’s Trust Fairbridge programme.

Together, we help young people fulfil their potential and realise their ambitions, by: providing access to education, developing life-skills and entrepreneurship, and promoting international and cultural understanding. Find out more here.