The Young Enterprise scheme, run across the country, has had a highly successful return to schools and colleges in Eastbourne and the Wealden area. This year, a local team went on to win the Sussex county finals and be highly recommended in the South East regional finals!

Young Enterprise aims to and encourages young people in their later years of education to learn about business and explore their (possible) entrepreneurial spirits by starting and running their own company under the auspices of the charity.

Students find out what it is like to set up and run a real business. Run across an academic year, young people make all the decisions about their company, from raising the initial share capital through to designing their product or service, to selling directly to customers and ultimately closing the company and paying their taxes. Students can also choose to set up their business as a social enterprise, which focuses on addressing a social need rather than maximising profit. All this is assisted with the support of a local Business Adviser who brings a wealth of business knowledge and expertise to the team.

In addition to achieving success with their own company, the students present their results and experiences in a competition to find the most successful Young Enterprise business. A competition is held in the late spring for a number of awards, just some of which including:

  • Best Company
  • Best Product or Service
  • Best Website
  • Best Customer Service

Many of these are supported and sponsored by prominent local businesses. County, regional and UK Finals follow, with teams battling it out to be crowned UK Company of the Year. They then go on to the European Final.

A number of exam boards map the Young Enterprise Company programme against a range of their qualifications.  This renowned programme has been running since 1963 and in that time over a million 15-19 year olds have taken part. Research has shown that 82% of students participating in the company programme agreed that the scheme gave them the confidence to succeed in the future, a fact certainly borne out by feedback from those taking part locally. In addition, 94% of teachers agreed that the Company programme increased student self-awareness in their own capabilities and potential, plus raised their career expectations.

Now, the Eastbourne & Wealden Young Enterprise board has announced that one of the companies in its area, Quantique, from Bishop Bell Church of England School, has been crowned County Champions.

Quantique, who designed, produced and sold innovative products, made from Scrabble pieces, such as cufflinks, with letters denoting initials, won Best Company of the Year, Best Branding, Best Website and the Best Presentation at the local finals. In addition, team member Brandon Relph, from Bishop Bell, was highly commended in the Young Achiever award.

At the County Finals as well as being crowned County Champions, Quantique won the Best Product or Service and the Best Trade Stand. They now go on to represent the Sussex area in the Regional Finals, set to be held in Guildford Cathedral on the 17th June.

Anyone interested in participating in the Young Enterprise Company scheme can contact the Chairperson of the Eastbourne and Wealden Young Enterprise Board, Gordon Piggott on 01323 502436 or by email: gordon@gordonpiggott.co.uk.

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