All about Prime

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Electricity free amplifier scoops UK award and propels Prime into euro-finals

Tiffin Girls' School represents the UK at the biggest celebration of teenage business in Europe.


Team Prime selling Gramophone at Spitalfields Old Market, London

Students from Tiffin Girls School, London, have won the title of the UK’s Young Enterprise Company of the Year.

The final took place on Monday 1st July at Kensington Town Hall and was hosted by Oli Barrett MBE, co-founder of StartUp Britain and Tenner and Steph McGovern, breakfast business presenter and also a Young Enterprise Alumni. The event and the Company Programme is supported by HSBC.

The students’ company, Prime, sells a silicone MP3 amplifier called Gramophone and will go on to represent the UK at the European Final on July 17th, competing with representatives from 36 other countries.

Managing Director, Olivia Wallwork, was delighted to win: “I’m absolutely shocked but so proud, being a team of 25, I feel like a proud mum.”“We learned by doing and the practical experiences are key life skills. Winning the UK Final is a great high and we are hoping to keep the company going in the next academic year”

Roy Harris, Regional Commercial Director of HSBC and chair of the judges said: “Prime had a strong product and a robust marketing plan, their presentation was hugely impressive and they are deserved winners.”

Prime’s deputy operation director , Caroline Hanly-Greene, explained more about the Gramophone, a silicone speaker device with sizes available for iPads and iPhones in an array of fresh, bright colours. The design amplifies sound but batteries aren’t necessary.

How did you initially set up the company?

The company was set up through the Young Enterprise programme. Interviews were held to select the Managing Director and her Deputy and then there was a further selection process. The company is split into different teams such as Sales, Marketing, and Personnel and to raise the initial capital we all bought shares in the company.

How did the team come up with, and develop, product ideas?

Well as a group we discussed various ideas and a problem area seemed to be listening to music so we explored this further, looking at designs, and manufacturing, before deciding on the Gramophone. We came up with the design ourselves and looked into manufacturing from scratch but this was too expensive and we didn’t have the funds. The next best choice was to outsource and luckily we found exactly what we wanted and were able to tailor this to our colour demands.

What sorts of venues have you been selling at?

We’ve sold at trade fairs at Brent Cross, Spitalfields, Wimbledon, Esher, Croydon and Kingston.

What has been the hardest challenge for your company as a whole?

There was one point where it was very touch and go with ordering our product. We were ordering from China and there was a major holiday coming up around the time that we were placing our order. A delay would have meant that we would have missed our very first trade fair, so that caused some stress.

How did it feel to get through to the area final?

Scary, but exciting! We will be one of three state schools in the area competing in the final. The competition is tough but we are a strong company and have achieved a lot so far so hopefully this won’t be the end of our journey.

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