Aspiring business stars at Wisbech Grammar School handed Young Enterprise award

ASPIRING Fenland business stars took one step nearer national recognition by winning a Cambridgeshire round of Young Enterprise 2011.

The competition saw 16 teams from Cambridgeshire schools face not only the judges but the acid test of whether they could persuade members of the public to buy from them.

The teams, set up only three months ago, have between then and next spring to establish their companies, develop the goods and services they will sell, do the business and then wind their companies down.

A Christmas bazaar in Huntingdon’s Commemoration Hall saw Wisbech Grammar School’s entry ‘Chameleon’ named as the best trade stand promoting a variety of products.

The school’s business provides an array of recycled items, including jewellery made from recycled board games, recycled bottle candles and recycled bottle top coasters.

The most successful teams – including four that prevailed in Huntingdon – will go on to regional and national finals of the Young Enterprise Scheme.

Other winning teams included ‘N gage’, from Kimbolton School, for the best demonstration of innovation, ‘Ceres’, of St Ivo, for the best customer service and ‘Elle’ from Witchford Village College for both best marketing and best product.

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Chris Newsome, Chairman of the area’s Young Enterprise organising board, said: “The prospect of having your brand-new products or services scrutinised by a group of bargain-hungry local Christmas shoppers would be enough to challenge even seasoned business people but the youngsters have stood up extremely well to the challenge.”

Mr Newsome chaired the panel of five judges, which also included the Federation of Small Businesses’ Stephen Birch, managing director of Bierce Technical Services, Helen Donnellan, economic development manager for Huntingdonshire District Council, the council’s cabinet member for resources and policy, Cllr Ken Churchill, and Ian MacKellar, business editor of the Hunts Post.