Last week, on Thursday 13th July, our Operations Director, Sharon, had the pleasure of returning to Stockport’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition 2017 as a judge.
Stockport Young Entrepreneur of the Year is an annual event that aims to encourage and support budding entrepreneurs in the Stockport community. Every year, each of the contending primary schools are given £400 through Stockport Council’s School Improvement Service to set-up and run a small business. With the help of this money, each primary school has to come up with a business idea, seeing it through from the early planning and market research stage all the way to designing, producing and selling their products. The new businesses from each primary school then gather at Stockport town hall to showcase their efforts on a stall in front of the rest of the competitors and the judges.
The ten judges, each from local businesses included Karl Perry from Assured Events, who celebrated his 10th year at the event, and Tony Millar from Great Grounds Ltd. On their way round the stalls, the judges asked the young entrepreneurs questions about their product or service, revenue projections and marketing strategy.
First prize went to the team from Cale Green primary school who designed a website that offers quick first aid advice to children whenever they need it. Their website, firstaidkid.co.uk, covers how to safely treat or respond to a number of common issues that require first aid assistance, ranging from a grazed knee to a stroke. At the top of the website, users can find information about defibrillators and CPR which then prompts them to give a donation towards a defibrillator for the school through the crowdfunding website, JustGiving. Sharon was so impressed with First Aid Kid that she has put them in touch with one of her connections, ‘The Defibrillator Shop’ and ‘Imperative Training’ to see if they can help promote their winning idea further afield.
The runner up was Alexandra Park primary school who took their inspiration from the latest trends that have swept through schools – fidget spinners and slime. They wanted to create something to fill the gap left by fidget spinners, an item prohibited in many schools, so they came up with ‘Strimeball, a stress ball made from slime. Sharon loved Alexandra Park Primary School’s ‘Strimeballs’ so much that she bought the whole F1rst Commercial team their very own (and we never get stressed…).
The pupils also had the opportunity to vote for their favourite business idea which was awarded to Queensgate primary school. The students from Queensgate primary won over their peers with ‘Bee Strong’, a company selling bee friendly products, such as flower growing kits, to help give bees a boost. They further impressed their fellow competitors by donating all profit from their sales to the families affected by the Manchester attack.
Left: Alexandra Park’s Strimeball
Right: Queensgate’s ‘Bee Strong’ flower kit
The awards were presented to the children by Alice Webb, the Director of BBC Children’s, who is responsible for the UK’s two most popular children’s networks, CBeebies and CBBC.
Although there could only be one winner, this year’s Young Entrepreneur competition has highlighted, once again, that Stockport is home to some very talented individuals. Sharon thoroughly enjoyed her time spent as a judge and has commented on how lovely it was to see such enthusiasm and excitement from the young entrepreneurs taking part in the competition. She’s already looking forward to next year!
Alice Webb with the winning team from Cale Green primary school