Sun Shines on Ayrshire’s Young Entrepreneurs

As Teams from Six Ayrshire Secondary Schools Compete for Company Awards

 A game developed, produced and marketed by a team of school pupils swept the board at last week’s Ayrshire finals of the Young Enterprise Scotland company awards.

 Companies set up, financed and operated by teams from Irvine’s Greenwood Academy, Kilmarnock’s Grange Academy and James Hamilton Academy, Saltcoats’ St Matthew’s Academy, Ayr’s Belmont Academy and Dalmellington’s Doon Academy all competed in the prestigious finals, contesting 14 awards plus the overall title of Ayrshire Company of the Year.

 ‘Focus’ from Doon Academy was the night’s biggest winner, with their Monsieur Soleil board game earning the team the overall company award as well as trophies for Best Presentation, Best Report, Best Innovation and Best Product/Service. The team of Kirsty McCormick, Ashley Mitchell, Fiona Kennedy, Katie Graham, Naomi Allan, Halle Fitzsimmons and Paige McMahon were also runners up in the Best Interview Category, with Doon Academy’s Tracy Allen also recognised as Link Teacher of the Year.

 Focus, and their board game which they designed to support language learning, will now go on to represent Ayrshire in the Young Enterprise Scottish finals in June. Managing Director Kirsty McCormick, said: “It feels amazing to win, especially as this is the first time our school has competed in the Ayrshire finals. We have all worked so hard throughout the year, and winning tonight give us so much confidence to develop Monsieur Soleil. Thank you to everyone who has supported us, in particular our Link Teacher Mrs Allen and our Business Advisor Darrin McDowall.”

 In all more than 50 young entrepreneurs participated in the event at Irvine’s Gailes Hotel, hosted by West FM’s Fiona Shields and addressed by Patricia Leary-Kreitzer, Managing Director of GE Engine Services. Other winners on the evening were:

  • Big Thumbs Up of Greenwood Academy, Irvine – Best Marketing, Best Trade Stand
  • Custom I’s of St Matthew’s Academy, Saltcoats – Best Teamwork, Runners-Up Best Trade Stand, Runners Up Best Report
  • Kaizen of Belmont Academy, Ayr – Best Interview, Runners-Up Best Presentation, Runners-Up Ayrshire Company of the Year
  • Saltire of Grange Academy, Kilmarnock and Revamped of James Hamilton Academy, Kilmarnock also qualified as finalists.

 Now in their 40th year, the Young Enterprise Company Awards recognise the achievements of businesses established and operated by 16-18year old pupils. They are organised by Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to provide the best business experience to students, giving them the opportunity to develop their full potential, raise their confidence and self-esteem, and test out their business skills.

 The 2014 Ayrshire finalists for Young Enterprise Scotland were

  • Kaizen of Belmont Academy, Ayr – Holly Bryan, Marcus Couling, Tom Coxon, Eilidh Duncan, Scott Duncan, Gillian Grant, Daniel Law, Jamie Morrison, Karen Prendergast, Amy Rodger, Findlay Stephen and Chris Taylor, supported by Link Teacher Susan Glass and Business Adviser Stephen McNab of GE Caledonian.
  • Focus of Doon Academy, Bellsbank – Kirsty McCormick, Ashley Mitchell, Fiona Kennedy, Katie Graham, Naomi Allan, Halle Fitzsimmons and Paige McMahon, supported by Link Teacher Tracy Allen and Business Adviser Darrin McDowall of The Referral Exchange.
  • Saltire of Grange Academy, Kilmarnock – Charlie Kleboe-Rodgers, Ann Strong, Sanjeev Man and Blair Mercer, supported by Link Teacher Jonathon Szumlakowski and Business Adviser David McCall of Munro Architects.
  • Big Thumbs Up of Greenwood Academy, Irvine – Ashton McTear, Hari Edwin, Emma McAulay, Eilidh Little, Greg Sutherland, Scott Figgins, Emma McAllister, Ben Cumming, Chloe Watters, Chloe Findlay, David McFarlane, Ellie MacMillan, Lundsey Finnigan, Eilidh Agnew, Keiran Kwok Giorgio Shek, Demi Stewart and Caitlin Young, supported by Link Teacher Alyson Rogers and Business Adviser Walter Smith of Blue Diamond.
  • Revamped of James Hamilton Academy, Kilmarnock – Ashley Brown, Ashleigh Boyd, Shannon Cooper, Abbie Cuthbert, Natalie McMillan, Chloe Parnell and Eilidh Rodger, supported by Link Teacher Lorraine Egerton and Business Adviser Julie McIntosh of Solicitors Financial Services.
  • Custom I’s of St Matthew’s Academy, Saltcoats – Nicole Gormley, Carla Robinson, Dennie Gillespie, Jade MacDowall, Jack MacDonald, Sophie Fulton, Samantha McKay, Stephanie Sharpe and Stephanie Johnstone, supported by Link Teacher Arlene Jackson and Business Adviser Rob Copeland of Secrets of Success.

 Numerous local businesses and organisations also support the Young Enterprise Scotland Ayrshire finals including Ayrshire College, Green Deal Ayrshire, Hillhouse Quarry Group Ltd, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, Ayrshire Association of Business Women, GE Caledonian, Klin Group, IDS & Co, QTS Training, Adelie, The Referral Exchange, Munro Architects, Blue Diamond, Solicitors Financial Services, Secrets of Success, Create Communications, Martin McLachlan Photography, Cann Print, Simpsinns, Bank of Scotland and West FM. The finals are also supported by East Ayrshire Council, North Ayrshire Council and South Ayrshire Council.

Photography attached courtesy of Martin McLachlan Photography



YoungEnt Winners - Doon Acad


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