Thirteen girls scoop Young Enterprise Company of the Year Award

Thirteen girls from the East of England wowed the judges yesterday at the HSBC Young Enterprise Innovation Awards, to be crowned Young Enterprise Company of the Year.

Through their company ‘Thirteen’, they designed, developed and marketed ‘vegimat’ place-mats for children, with the aim of encouraging healthy eating at a young age.

Chairing the judges’ panel, Andrea Devincentiis, head of communications UK and Europe at HSBC, praised the girls from Colchester Country High School for their “thorough research and wide promotion methods”, and commended them for successfully obtaining NHS endorsement for their product.

Twelve teams from different regions of the UK delivered highly professional and polished presentations of their businesses, as they battled it out for the chance to represent Britain at the Junior Achievement Young Enterprise Europe Company of the Year competition in Sardinia later this month.

Hayley Turner, managing director of Thirteen, who also won the Founders Award for Leadership, was ecstatic at her team’s triumph.  She said: “It’s amazing because we weren’t expecting this at all.  The judges were really tough with us but now all our hard work has paid off.”

Other prizes went to West Midlands-based Felicitas, who gained the Young Enterprise Production Award for their fashionable jewellery product ‘I:Charm’, that enhances the appearance of personal audio systems.

Band Wagon, who represented the East Midlands, scooped both the Young Enterprise Financial Management in Business Award and the Marketing Award, leaving the team from West Bridgford School overjoyed.

Speaking after the awards ceremony, John May, UK chief executive of Young Enterprise, said: “I’m just astounded by the quality of the presentations, the business plans, and the general confidence of the next generation of business leaders. 30,000 young people took part in our company programme this year, and I know that this is just the tip of an enormous iceberg for entrepreneurship.”

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2010

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