‘Ignite’ from Alleyne’s Academy Wins Young Enterprise Regional Finals

Ignite Presentation Team 2014
Ignite Presentation Team 2014

The Ignite Team from Alleyne’s Academy, Stone continued their winning streak in the Staffordshire Young Enterprise County Finals, held on 8th May at the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston.  The team, led by Managing Director, Katy Minshull, fought off strong competition to win Best Staffordshire Company, Best Presentation and Best Company Report Awards with their mobile and charger holder, the Connect.  This means they will now compete in the Regional Finals to be held in June.

The Ignite team planned carefully for this event with an updated trade stand and a confident, professional presentation. They proudly announced they have won large orders from Wedgwood and Sibelco amongst others and are in talks with high profile corporate clients such as Virgin Trains.

The Ignite team were up against stiff competition from the other four shortlisted schools taking part in the County Finals:

From Wolstanton High School was Little Helping Hands from Newcastle-under-Lyme with their gardening kit for children.  Containing gardening gloves, mini trowel, plant pot with sunflower seeds and a bug catcher, the kit comes with a workbook designed to encourage young children to start enjoying the joys of gardening.  Managing Director Katie Fradley won the Leadership award and the team also won the Innovation Award and the Best Trade Stand.

Extension from King Edward VI School, concerned about the numbers of obese children in the UK, had created a card game for 5-11 year olds called Food Fight. Having sold out everything in the first week, they re-ordered and have currently sold over £2000 worth of games.  MD Alex Broadgate indicated that the company were in negotiations with a national chain.

Finally, Nostalgia from Thomas Alleynes High School,  produced nostalgic products from recycled materials including cards, candles, cushions and wooden accessories. The team had found an innovative way of creating swirling designs using nail varnish and water resulting in a completely unique and very stylish product range.

Sarah-White-and-Katy-Minshull
Sarah White from M-viron in Stone business advisor to Alleyne’s Academy with Katy Minshull, MD of the winning team, Ignite.

Compere, Mike Grocott of Intercog Ltd reminded the audience that while many of us are involved with running a business in one way or another, only Young Enterprise students combine running a business with full time education.

Anthony Jones, of Wedgwood spoke of his support for Young Enterprise saying that this year’s teams ‘raised the bar’ and ‘made Staffordshire proud’.  He went on to say that he was totally impressed by the drive, ambition and sheer determination of the students to get their businesses up and running.  He also spoke of his hopes of employing some of these students in the future saying that

“business in the West Midlands needs the dynamic young entrepreneurs that Young Enterprise encourages”.

Liz Blakemore, Group Human Resource Director of Wedgwood said,

“It is a privilege to be involved with the Young Enterprise organisation in Staffordshire.  Each year we see a new group of young people who have been inspired and empowered – and who have gained confidence in their own abilities.  Amongst these groups of young people are our leaders of tomorrow.”

Janis Wilcox, Young Enterprise‘s manager for Stone and Stafford said,

“The standard of entries has been excellent.  We hope that next year we can get even more schools involved because the experience of entering gives the students such confidence and ambition to succeed as well as real life experience of the business world.”

Congratulations to Ignite and we wish them all the very best for the Regional Finals.

If any business or schools with Year 12 students would like to become involved in Young Enterprise, please contact Janis Wilcox for more details at janis.wilcox@y-e.org.uk