Budding entrepreneurs from across the region scoop Young Enterprise Awards

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Six teams of students from across Cheshire West and Chester successfully scooped a number of awards at this year’s national Young Enterprise Awards.

The winning teams from St. Nicholas, Hertford and Abbeygate College, Chester, thrashed it out against teams from other schools in the region including West Cheshire College, The Queens School, Cransley School, Ellesmere Port Catholic High School and Bishop’s Blue Coat.

The competition gave the seven regional teams the opportunity to create their own business ideas and pitch them in front of a judging panel where they were marked on the strength of their presentations.

Six to twelve  Sixth Form students from years 10 to 12 took part in the event which was organised by the University of Chester in a bid to encourage more students to go into business and higher education.

The entrants worked together in teams to market their ideas and they each raised sponsorship funds with Ellis and Co sponsoring the award for ‘best presentation’.

Judges at the Riverside Innovation Centre included Robin Gill, a partner at Chester law firm Storrar Cowdry, James  Hargreaves of Hargreaves & Woods accountants, Torria Buzza, Regeneration Manager of the Plus Dane Housing Group, Jamie Craig, General Assembly Area Manager at Vauxhall Motors and Darren Mercer from Mercer Associates.

Among the winning business ideas on the night were BRIPRO who designed cufflinks from St. Nicholas and ‘Identify’ who designed identity bracelets from Abbey  Gate College. 

Both teams will now go on to compete in the County heats on May 7th at Daresbury Science Park.

Claire Blanchard, Venture Manager at the University of Chester, sits on the Cheshire West and Chester Young Enterprise board of volunteers.

“We are very grateful to all our sponsors like Ellis and Co Chartered Accountants because without them the awards ceremony wouldn’t be possible,” said Claire.

“We were very impressed with the calibre of students on the night who each came up with some fantastic business ideas.

“The young people were either picked or chose to take part in the event and came from a broad cross section of subjects which made it very interesting.”

She added: “Every student was mentored and given interim training before their presentation. I thoroughly enjoyed being one of the mentors and exploring topics such as the strength of their individual business ideas and the highs and lows of working together in teams.”

John Farrell, Accounts Senior at Ellis and Co, said: “Ellis and Co are delighted to support this event as it focuses on supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs in the region.

“We also work very closely with the University of Chester in mentoring young people with bright new business ideas and offering them financial advice on an on going basis.

“This is important to us as we place a great deal of emphasis on supporting anyone who would like to start up their own business or who needs help devising their own business plan.”