Divided Represent Cornwall at South West’s Best Young Enterprise Company 2012
On Monday 25th June “Divided” travelled up to Bristol University to compete for the ‘South West’s Best Young Enterprise Company 2012’ accompanied by their Link Teacher Mrs J Griffiths and their Business Adviser, Ms Ruth Grant. At age 15, the Richard Lander students were by far the youngest in the final and had juggled running the company with GCSE studies, so were somewhat underdogs, but went into the competition determined and confident that they could win the title and the place in the UK National Final, which will be held in London in July.
All of the 7 teams started the event by setting up trade stands, and then were interviewed at their stands by the judges. The rules clearly stated that the students had to do this without any adult help, so their teachers and business advisers had to leave the room. The judges were:
Andy Bird, Corporate Director – Barclays, Hereford & Worcester
Matthew Lee, Managing Partner – Bishop Fleming
Lauren Billington, Head of External Relations – English Mutual
Nick Walrond, Managing Director – RSG Resource Solutions Group
Lee Newman, Senior Commercial Manager – HSBC
Divided coped with this challenge admirably, remaining polite, committed to their product and professional at all times. Their stature far surpassed their years and they looked every bit the business people.
At 5:00, the invited guests and sponsors arrived and were shown the stands. During this part of the competition the Divided stand was particularly busy and abuzz with excitement to the extent that the professional photographer had to return three times to get his publicity shot.
At 5:30 the presentations commenced. Divided stood at the front of the Wills Memorial Hall, a prestigious venue and one of the last gothic buildings built in England, and presented to an audience of over 300 people. They talked of their business achievements, and their understanding of why the company had performed as it did. Divided have invented a unique popcorn packaging – Flavour Box - which allows a consumer to have 4 different snacks in one packet. They have secured advertising from 6 different companies to fund a test run which will take place at Newquay Cinema in the near future. They have also filmed a highly professional advert featuring fellow students which was shown to the audience.
Unfortunately, Divided did not win any awards although they were second in the Innovation and Enterprise category and a finalist in the Media Award category. Although they return to Cornwall empty handed the team are not too downhearted and have certainly not been put off pursuing careers in business in any way.
Jacob Wickett, Sales and Marketing Director: “Divided is very disappointed at not winning any awards today; however we do intend to carry on with Flavour Box. We would like to thank Jenny Griffiths, Ruth Grant and Sally Wright for supporting us at the Regional Finals.”
Mrs J Griffiths, Assistant Headteacher: “The Divided team put in a fantastic performance, and punched well above their weight competing with sixth form teams from across seven counties. We were really disappointed not to win but the team intend to become a fully incorporated company as soon as they turn 16”
The Overall Best Company Trophy went to Vitamin Boom, Balcarras Academy, Gloucestershire for their Froo-Tea product containing Baobab.