Young Enterprise’s “Company Programme” gives young people aged between 15 and 19 the chance to “start something”. Every September schools gather a group of students to start companies from scratch. This is not Monopoly but rather a real step into the trading world.
Harry Gardiner (Managing Director), Zoe Griffiths (Company Secretary), Henry Dayus (Operations Manager), Patrick Haynes (IT Director), Nick Sage (IT Director), Brad Gayler (Finance Director), Charlotte Haigh (Finance Director), Kate Powell (Human Resources Director), Katie Digby (Sales and Marketing Director) and her team of Alice Hills and Eloise Pfeiffer, enjoyed unprecedented success with their company, Iroko.
Iroko is a mixture of A Level and IB students who worked together on a number of products; decorative cupcake key rings and fridge magnets, matching design canvases and posters. Most impressive was a music CD of recordings by the College’s talented musicians that could be bought either as a cd or as an online download via i-tunes.
At the exhibition held at East Grinstead, the competitors displayed their products on trade stands. The judges visited each stand, asking questions about finances, strategy and even any problems encountered. Iroko championed their products and highlighted a profit after tax of over £700. In particular, it was the venture into the music industry that proved to be the winning formula with impressive sales.
The Trade Stand fair was followed by the stage presentations. Each company had five minutes to make their pitch knowing that if they overran, points would be deducted. Iroko ran to time, delivered fluently and showcased commendable statistics, all with a vibrant injection of colour.
Only the award ceremony remained. Iroko were due to collect two, announced prior to the event, for Best Business Plan and Best Branding. As MD, Harry Gardiner, went up to collect these awards, nobody could have predicted the successes still to come.
Iroko were not only the runners up for Best Report and Accounts but also took the awards for Health and Safety, Innovation, Best Presentation, Best Trade Stand and most importantly, the Best Company.Harry also collected the Young Enterprise Achiever of the Year award, which he shared with a fellow MD of one of the Warden Park companies.
Speaking afterwards Harry said, “I’m ecstatic about our achievements. I’m most proud of doing so well in the Best Presentation category. I want to say a big thank you to all of my team for their work.”
Brad Gayler added, “It’s the presentation that requires so much preparation here. Although it’s a very busy time in the academic year our commitment to the rehearsals really paid off”. Meanwhile Katie Digby identified one key element that contributed to their success, “Everyone attended the meetings and worked hard on the project; those efforts have been rewarded today”.
Hurst pupils' participation in the Young Enterprise scheme is enthusiastically supported by the school's Head of Careers Jan Leeper. Iroko were mentored by Business Advisor, Julie Lambert-Day, who is working with the College for the first time. Delighted by the success, Jan said, “This is the greatest number of awards that a Hurst team has ever amassed at the Mid Sussex event. Iroko were following in some big Hurst footsteps, with Infinite last year taking the County title as well. I’m very proud of them.”
Iroko now progress to challenge other YE companies from across the whole county on 16th of May, where they are likely to be tested still further against the best of Sussex.
23 May 2013