An innovative healthy-eating and restaurant guide, devised by students from Ampleforth College, has taken top honours in North Yorkshire’s Young Enterprise Innovation Awards 2013.
Students from eight schools had to pitch their idea to judges at the finals of this year’s contest at Pavilions of Harrogate, before presenting to an audience of invited guests in the evening.
But, although confidence on stage and a convincing sales patter count, business acumen, careful financial planning and people skills are all taken into account in the competition, which began back in September.
Ampleforth’s Phoenix team were judged to have done the best job overall over the last seven months, also scooping the awards for the best trade stand and the most innovative product– but there were awards for other teams from schools across North Yorkshire.
Bronny Embleton of Knaresborough’s King James’s School – who won last year’s prize for outstanding leadership – presented this year’s accolade to Polly Chapman from Boom Boom Bags of Skipton Girls’ High School, who also won the prize for best use of media.
However, this year’s King James’s School team were also celebrating, after winning awards for customer service, best presentation and the best company reports and accounting.
Meanwhile, St Peter’s School in York – the winner of last year’s overall team award – was presented with the teamwork award won by Kaleidoscope while Embrace from York’s Huntington School won the prize for continuous improvement.
North Yorkshire Young Enterprise manager Jill Tinsley said:
“We had a fantastic crop of teams to help Young Enterprise celebrate its 50th year and that was certainly reflected in the judging. No one envied the judges their task at all this year.
“However, never is the saying that it’s not about winning but taking part more apt than in the Innovation Awards. Each and every one of the students who made it as far as the final day should be proud of what they achieved. They are a credit to themselves and to their schools.
“Of course it’s a shame not everyone goes home with an award for all their work but, if they leave the process with a better understanding of what it’s like at the cutting edge of the business world – and an idea of how to compete in it – then perhaps that’s more valuable in the long term.
“One of the most satisfying parts of my job is watching young people grow in confidence and self-belief as they knock down obstacles which face them through the process – and this year has been no exception.
“Our thanks go to all the schools who took part – and to our numerous business mentors who have guided them through the process since last September.”
The Phoenix team now goes through to the Yorkshire and Humber regional finals to be held at Leeds United’s Elland Road Stadium on Thursday, June 13.