22 Apr 15

Suffolk students go head to head in first round of national Young Enterprise competition

Budding young entrepreneurs from Suffolk will be putting their business heads on to compete in the county Final of the Young Enterprise Company Programme today, supported by EDF Energy.

Eight teams from schools in Suffolk will be vying to take home the top prize of ‘Best Company’ after taking on the challenge of setting up and running their own businesses for a year with the help of local business mentors on the Company Programme.

The winning company will go on to the East of England regional Final which is being held in Cambridge in June, where the overall winner will win a place in the UK Final on the 2nd July in London.

Nicky Corbett, EDF Energy’s Communications Officer for the Sizewell C project is on the Suffolk Young Enterprise Board and will be a judge at this year’s county awards event. Nicky said: “I have read through the award entries and am really looking forward to seeing the pitch from some of Suffolk’s youngest entrepreneurs. I wish the eight finalists the best of luck.”

Michael Mercieca, Young Enterprise Chief Executive said: “The Suffolk Area Finals mark the first stage in a national competition to find this year’s Best Young Enterprise Company.

“The East of England regional Final is the penultimate stage in the Company Programme competition, supported by HSBC.
“These students have worked incredibly hard all year, and at the final they’ll be demonstrating their products and services that they’ve produced or sourced on the Programme, and showcasing the skills they’ve developed along the way.

“Setting up and running their own companies while in school gives young people valuable real-life experience and enables them to develop key skills that will help them in work and in life.

“We’ve seen some great businesses set up by young people in Suffolk this year and I wish all the students the best of luck.”

More than 150 students in Suffolk aged from 15 to 18 set up and ran 14 companies, of which 8 have made it through to the finals with help from local business volunteers.

Eddy Alcock, Chairman of the Suffolk Young Enterprise Board said: “Young Enterprise couldn’t exist without the vital support from our local business volunteers and I’d like to thank them all for their hard work this year as well as EDF Energy for their sponsorship of the Area Final.”

Schools in the Suffolk (Area) Final of YE, company name and product/service

Farlingaye High School

Vinyl records transformed into clocks and candles in glasses

Thomas Mills High School

Suffolk themed picture frames and travel boards

East Bergholt High School
T-shirts, beanies and jumpers of school visits

Thurston Community College
Products to help car passengers to sleep in comfort

Woodbridge School
Pre-used items turned into products including coasters, candles and necklaces

St Joseph's College
SJC Enterprise
Wrist bands and calendars celebrating the National Schools Rugby Festival

Ipswich School
A DIY booklet on recycling used items

Notes to editors

Young Enterprise

About the Company Programme

  • The Company Programme, supported by HSBC, is Young Enterprise’s flagship programme, running for young people aged between 14 and 19
  • Participants set up their own companies and run them for an academic year, under the guidance of local business mentors
  • 2013/14 student self assessment surveys found that 82% felt taking part in the Company Programme gave them the confidence to succeed in the future
  • 94% of teachers agreed that the Company Programme increased student self-awareness in their own capabilities and potential and raised their career aspirations.

 About Young Enterprise and pfeg

  • Young Enterprise is the UK’s leading enterprise and financial education charity working with young people aged 4 to 25
  • Following the recent merger of pfeg into Young Enterprise, we are a specialist ‘one stop shop’ for students and teachers, empowering young people to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need for work and in life
  • With 14 years of experience, pfeg continues to support teachers, government, consumer bodies and financial industry representatives to assist schools in delivering personal finance education to the highest possible standards – enabling children and young people to understand money and make informed choices to support their long term economic well-being
  • Our extensive network means we are supported by more than 5,000 volunteers and 3,500 businesses in schools, colleges and universities
  • We also support teachers in 18,000 schools to plan and deliver financial education programmes
  • For over 50 years Young Enterprise has worked with over four million young people across the UK to empower them to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need for the world of work through enterprise
  • We are part of the global network JA-YE that operates in over 120 countries
  • For more information on pfeg see www.pfeg.org or email comms@y-e.org.uk
  • For more information on Young Enterprise please see www.young-enterprise.org.uk or email Kate Corry on kate.corry@y-e.org.uk

EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to 6 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.

EDF Energy’s safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework.

These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain’s homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Better Energy Ambitions, EDF Energy has developed one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company.

In 2014 EDF Energy received seven ‘Big Ticks’ in the Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards. In 2013 EDF Energy received the Environmental Leadership for Behavioural Change Award in the national Environment and Energy Awards and was highly commended in the first ever pan European Corporate Social Responsibility Awards scheme for its Sustainable Schools programme – the Pod.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe’s largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.

To find out more about the UK's energy challenges look at www.edfenergy.com/energyfuture/