Stewarton team take top honours, with prizes also for Doon, Belmont and James Hamilton Academies
A business selling cotton shopping bags for life has been named 2015’s Ayrshire Company of the Year by Young Enterprise Scotland.
The Go Co, which was established and operated by a team of senior pupils at Stewarton Academy, was named overall winner at Young Enterprise Scotland’s Ayrshire finals last week at Troon’s Marine Hotel, with their bag business also receiving recognition for Best Marketing, Best Report and Best Presentation.
A hat trick of awards also went to Doon Academy’s Flawless, whose educational flashcard business was recognised for Best Product/Service, Best Teamwork and Best Innovation. Two further trophies went to Kilmarnock’s James Hamilton Academy, with their bespoke decorations company, Aspire, taking the Best Interview category whilst the school’s Lorraine Egerton was named Best Link Teacher. Belmont Academy’s Boost Enterprises, which has developed posters promoting basic numeracy skills, were also winners, taking back to Ayr the Best Trade Stand award.
The awards were the culmination of months of hard work by each of the teams with each creating, financing, launching and operating their own business, supported by Link Teachers and by volunteer business advisors from the local community.
Overall Ayrshire winners, Stewarton’s The Go Co, will now go on to represent Ayrshire at Young Enterprise Scotland’s national finals in Glasgow. Sixth year pupil and Managing Director, Jonathan Seaman (17) from Dunlop, said: “All of the hard work which has gone into the The Go Co has been so worthwhile. I’ve loved every stress-filled minute of this fantastic experience and learned so much, gaining experience in dealing with business owners and the public as well as our own team. We are absolutely thrilled to win these awards tonight and look forward to representing Ayrshire at the Scottish finals.”
Seventeen year old Elleis Peters from Patna is a partner in Doon Academy’s triple award winning Flawless and a fifth year pupil at the Dalmellington school. She commented: “Being part of Young Enterprise has been a really exciting experience, giving us all a great opportunity to widen our skills. We’ve learned so much, especially the importance of keeping control of your time management, and we now hope to take our product to the Sir Tom Hunter competition.”
Ayr’s Belmont Academy were represented by Boost Enterprises. It’s Managing Director, seventeen year old Lauren Campbell from Ayr, said: “This project has been stressful but unbelievably rewarding. We have achieved more than we ever thought possible, and are very proud of the business. Tonight’s competition is great, but what’s most important is getting to this stage. All of the teams here can be very proud of what they have achieved.”
Seventeen year old Callum McQuade, Managing Director of James Hamilton Academy’s Aspire, added: “This has been a brilliant experience and I’d recommend taking part in Young Enterprise to anyone. Friendship, life experience, dealing with money, building a business – we’ve all got so much from being part of this. As well as our great team, I would also like to give a huge thank you to our business adviser Mr Brian Hill and to our teacher Mrs Egerton for their support and guidance.”
The teams competing in the Ayrshire finals were:
• Educational posters producer Boost Enterprises from Ayr’s Belmont Academy (established and operated by pupils Callum Brunton, Lauren Campbell, Christian Coulling, Olliver Dare, Steven Edgar, Ryan Fraser, Ross Hay, Taylor Hollywood, Paul Jamieson, Maria Javid, Cameron McCririe, Adam Stanley and Sarah Wilson with the support of teacher Susan Glass and Business Adviser Stephen McNab);
• Educational flash cards company Flawless of Dalmellington’s Doon Academy (established and operated by pupils Shania Brown, Colin McDonald, Elleis Peters and Carla Strachan with support from teacher Tracy Allen and Business Adviser Darrin McDowall);
• Bespoke wooden decorations business Aspire of Kilmarnock’s James Hamilton Academy (established and operated by pupils Sophie Carbry, Andrew Docherty, Carley Hall, Robbie Howard, Cameron Hume, Cameron Lamberth, Ross Lobban, Jamie Macdonald, Callum McQuade, Connor Miller, Kimberley Neill, Emily Purdie, Scott Sutton and Matthew Young, with support from teacher Lorraine Egerton and Business Adviser Brian Hill), and
• Cotton shopping bags company The Go Co of Stewarton Academy (established and operated by Jonathan Seaman, Arran Moffat, Darren Barr, David MacFarlane, Fiona Rice, Josh Williamson, Niall MacQuarrie and Stephen Pioli with support from teacher Andy McLean and Business Adviser Maggie Ramage).
Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) is a not-for-profit organisation and 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. Described as ‘the ultimate business experience for S5 and S6 pupils’, YES’s Company Programme adds value to young people’s senior school experience with opportunities to develop skills in communications, problem solving, presentation skills, leadership skills, decision making, creative thinking and resilience.
Young Enterprise Scotland’s Ayrshire programme is also supported by numerous local businesses and organisations including Adelie, IDS & Co, GE Aviation Services – Caledonian, Cann Print, Hillhouse Quarry Group, the Federation of Small Businesses, Ayrshire College, QTS, Green Deal Ayrshire Ltd, DMC Events, The Klin Group, Two Fat Ladies at The Marine, East Ayrshire Council, North Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Council, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, Bank of Scotland, Create Communications LLP, LGPR, Ayrshire Community Media and West FM.