News & Events

Students from the Abbey School, Berkshire crowned best company at South Central Regional Final


A company of students from The Abbey School in Reading, Berkshire have been crowned Best Overall Company at the Young Enterprise South Central Regional Final. The final, held at the University of Buckingham on Thursday 21st June, celebrated students who have set up and run a company over the academic year as part of the HSBC supported Young Enterprise Company Programme.


Nine teams from Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire competed for prizes across many categories and competition was fierce.


The winning team, “Impact” had developed a themed cookbook with recipes from top local chefs and have plans to develop a vegetarian version and much more. The team said that they were “amazed and thrilled to have won and to be going to the national finals!”



The companies were judged by Clare Lundberg (HR Director Routeco), Ian Zant-Boer (Growthdeck), John Spoerry (University of Buckingham), Nikki Burns (FSB Thames Valley), Nicola Jay (Head of Early Careers, MBDA UK Ltd) and James Morley-Smith (Zebra Technologies), and overseen by Alan Gundle (Technical Director, Sensient).


The judges also awarded Best Report, Best Trade Stand, Best Teamwork and Best Presentation awards to students from Watford, Oxford, High Wycombe, Aylesbury and Luton.


The judges said:


“One aspect of the judging which was particularly strong this year was the practical response to the zeitgeist; with teams tackling discrimination, drug abuse and political awareness. The new balanced scorecard from YE was well received by the judges and enriched the discussions. As usual, picking the overall winner was very difficult, with a hair’s breadth between the top contenders.’ – Alan Gundle, Chair of Judges


“It was an privilege to be asked to judge at this event, I was very impressed with the all of the teams, who all demonstrated exceptional team work, enthusiasm and commitment to their enterprise.

I had the pleasure of speaking to the team members individually, whose confidence and maturity at such a young age was remarkable, and the YE journey has no doubt contributed to this.”  – Clare Lundberg, Routeco


“It has been a great pleasure being involved with Young Enterprise. I was highly impressed with the quality and enthusiasm of the finalists and it bodes well for the region that we have a crop of such exciting young entrepreneurs coming through. We can’t wait to start backing them!” – Ian Zant-Boer, CEO, Growthdeck


“The University of Buckingham was delighted to host such a fantastic group of young achievers. As a judge I was uplifted by the energy of the event.” – John Spoerry, University of Buckingham


The Young Enterprise Regional Final was truly impressive – both the quality and outputs of the teams involved, and the organisation of the whole event. As an apprentice manager I would genuinely be happy to hire many of the students I met, and I think they all have great careers in business ahead of them.” – Nicki Jay, MBDA UK Ltd


“As a first-time judge for Young Enterprise I was extremely impressed with the standard of the participating businesses.  My focus was on the use of IT and each enterprise faced some very real challenges for which utilised IT systems in innovative ways to overcome these; this made the judging process very difficult indeed.”– James Morley-Smith, Zebra Technologies


The companies and schools competing in the South Central Young Enterprise Company Programme Final were:


  1. CardDog: RFID Skimmer Protection Card (Aylesbury Grammar School)
  2. Spectra: Unique Book Protectors (Denbigh High School)
  3. MisQuoted: Range of Unique Streetwear Clothing (Watford Grammar School for Boys)
  4. Zest: Children’s picture book aimed at reducing prejudice against minority cultures (Oxford High School)
  5. Impact: Healthy eating cookbook with recipes from top local chefs (The Abbey School)
  6. Think: Knife and drug crime awareness programmes, grime music and promotional t-shirts (Oxford Academy)
  7. Certi: Children’s book on diversity and values (Watford Girls School)
  8. Buzz: Greetings cards using seed impregnated paper (The Abbey School)
  9. Out of the Woods: Wooden homeware products and necklaces (Pipers Corner School)


C.E.R.T.I from Hertfordshire, winners of the Best Presentation


Impact being interviewed by Clare Lundberg (Routeco) and Ian Zant-Boer (Growthdeck)


Out of the Woods – Winners Best Company Report


Nicola Jay from MBDA UK Ltd presenting the joint MDs of Out of the Woods with the Best Trade Stand Award