News & Events

Battle of the businesses at the Young Enterprise UK Final

Students from across Britain compete to be named UK Company of the Year

Students from 14 teams across the UK competed for 10 prizes at the Young Enterprise Company Programme UK Final on the 2 July at the BFI Southbank.


UK Company of the Year Overall Winner: Orenda. St Helen’s School with BBC Breakfast Business Presenter Steph McGovern

The event was compered by BBC Breakfast Business Presenter Steph McGovern, who earlier in the day had featured the event on BBC Breakfast. Guests heard from Ross Baily, CEO and Founder of Appear Here, Kate Burns, Buzzfeed’s Europe General Manager, Glamour Magazine Editor Jo Elvin, former Dragon and Co-CEO of Outsourcery PLC, Piers Linney; and one-handed pianist Nicholas McCarthy.

The overall winning team was Orenda, from St Helen’s School in Northwood, Hertfordshire. The team had produced an innovative drink and snack container called ‘Sip ‘O’ Snack’. The team will now go on to compete in the European Final where they will represent the UK.

Michael Mercieca, CEO of Young Enterprise, said: “I, and the judges, were hugely impressed by all of the students and their products. They have demonstrated significant employability skills development; such as resilience through dealing with issues businesses face, communication and confidence from being part of a busy team.

“Well done to all of them for getting to the UK Final and congratulations to the winners. I look forward to seeing how the winning team, Orenda, do in the JA Europe Final in Berlin later in July.”

The Company Programme is the flagship programme of Young Enterprise, the UK’s leading enterprise and financial education charity. Over the course of nine months over 21,000 students have taken part, starting up over 2,000 companies, with over £2 million sales generated. The Company Programme is funded nationally by HSBC, and regionally by local businesses and volunteers.

Piers Linney said: “The teams tonight were amazing. It’s clear to see the skills they’ve picked up through this experience, and I can see they understand about the tenacity required to succeed, so it’s fantastic.

“Schemes like Young Enterprise are of a massive importance. It’s not just about education, it’s about experience and understanding business, and actually being enterprising.

“It’s not just about being an entrepreneur, it’s about being enterprising, whether it’s going into business of a career, that’s what’s required these days.

“The tip I usually give to young entrepreneurs is it’s not easy, and it’s about tenacity and getting back up when you get knocked down.”

The full winners were:

Production Award recognises excellence in production of a Young Enterprise company’s product or service
ActiKids. Friends’ School, Lisburn
An activity journal for 6-10 year olds

Founder’s Award is to recognise and encourage exceptional individual achievement by Young Enterprise students
Jake Lewis, ActiKids. Friends’ School, Lisburn

Retail Excellence Award recognizes excellence in sales technique and results
Write. St Dominic’s High School for Girls, Staffordshire
A series of interactive activity storybooks

Journey Award recognizes students who have overcome particularly difficult challenges during their time enrolled in Young Enterprise
Nahyan Islam. Bow School, east London

Innovation in I.T. Award recognizes particular technological achievement
Ed’Up. Olchfa School, Swansea
Revision app inspired by the game Charades

Creativity Award recognizes creativity and initiative when developing products
Orenda. St Helen’s School, Hertfordshire
A drinks and snacks container

Best Presentation
Ed’Up. Olchfa School, Swansea
Revision app inspired by the game Charades

Company of the Year: 3rd Place
BioDiversity. Bayside Comprehensive School, Gibraltar
A range of environmentally friendly children’s books

Company of the Year: 2nd Place
Synergy. The Priory Academy LSST, Lincoln
A series of books written by teenagers, about understanding teenagers, for parents

Company of the Year: Overall Winner

Orenda. St Helen’s School, Hertfordshire
A drinks and snacks container


Footage from the day and photos are available on our Company Programme Final 2015 webpage

Read the full press release