Young business brains get set for enterprise awards

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Aspiring entrepreneurs from schools around Mansfield will be putting their business brains to the test today as part of the second Mansfield 2020 Junior Enterprise Awards.

Teams from seven local schools will be showcasing their ideas to business leaders from the town, as part of the Dragon’s Den-style competition.

The market stall event will take place in Westgate, Mansfield, with judges including Chad Editor Tracy Powell, Charlotte Wright from Young Enterprise and Sandra Cowley from Vision West Nottinghamshire.

The young people all had to come up with the initial idea and appoint themselves into key roles within each company, including managing director, head of sales and marketing manager.

The 15 teams are made up of Year 9 students from Brunts Academy, Garibaldi College, Samworth Church Academy, Queen Elizabeth’s Academy, Meden School, All Saints’ Catholic School, and Shirebrook Academy, who worked on a range of ideas, from making vintage jewellery, to cushions and retro fashion.

The businesses will also be judged on their presentation, as well as the product and its overall profitability.

Last year’s winners, Triple LRJ from Garibaldi designed and developed Olympic bracelets that featured individual charms cut out on a laser cutter.

Steve Chapman, from Garibaldi said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the students to learn outside of the classroom. It helps them to develop both their academic skills and their lifeskills.”

This year, Garibaldi is entering two teams into the competition - Agengers Eco-shoppers and Cushion Soft.

Berni Dickinson, director of the Mansfield Learning Partnership said: “This competition is a great opportunity for young people in Mansfield schools to show the business community that they really mean business.

“A lot of hard work, passion and commitment has gone into preparing for this Junior Enterprise Event. The teams have had great support from local business mentors and teachers to develop their skills and understanding of running a business. I wish all the teams the best of luck and look forward to seeing them all in action in the market place.”

The winners will be announced at a special presentation evening at West Nottinghamshire College next week.

David Greenwood, from Young Enterprise Nottinghamshire, added: “Having run enterprise events at the participating schools, it is clear that Mansfield has many really creative young people. I’m excited to see what products they are developing.”

Pictured are team Vetro, from the Samworth Church Academy, who are taking part in the competition.