Hull's clever sparks put their business brawn to the test as Young Enterprise competition returns

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 27 Apr 2018

Over 300 clever kids from across Hull will put their brains and business skills to the test as part of an exciting programme built to create budding entrepreneurs.

The Young Enterprise competition returns this year with children from 23 schools and collegesacross Hull set to battle it out at the county final on May 17 at the Hallmark Hotel in North Ferriby.

The youngsters, who are aged between 14 and 18, have formed teams and come up with original and quirky ideas which they will pitch to a panel of judges.

These range from “the snail,” a device which lets you wrap up your earphones to stop them getting tangled, to wooden coasters, shabby chic decorative items and bracelets made out of parachute cords.

The youngsters will have to sell their product to a panel of judges

The participants elect their own “board of directors” within each group and even have the power to fire those who are not pulling their weight.

Over the past few months, the pupils have been showing off their products at trade fairs but they will be keen to impress the judges in less than a month’s time at the county final.

Jill Tinsley, North East and Yorkshire and Humber regional manager, said: “It’s very much their own business.

“They make their own decisions and they keep any profits they make.

“They go from not having potentially any confidence and not daring to say anything to going up to present or speak to the judges about their product.

“You see a massive turnaround and it’s amazing to see them grow in confidence, communication and resilience.

“It’s linked to key employability skills and you see a real rise in aspirations.

“For someone at the start who was not particularly academic, suddenly because of this competition they have a reason to go to school and it opens up jobs to them which may interest them in the future.”

The regional final will be on The Pride of Hull ferry

Lucy Gray, area manager for North and South Humber, has been amazed by the journey some of the pupils take by being a part of the initiative.

She said: “It opens their eyes to make them believe that they are capable of achieving things and that they can do this.

“I’ve seen groups grow from being at their wits end which their education to saying ‘this is the best thing I have ever done.’

“They say that they’ve really enjoyed it and want to run their own business later in life.”

To help the scheme run smoothly, the Young Enterprise charity relies on donations and volunteers.

This year, they’ve had a host of Hull businesses sponsor prizes. These include Hudgells, KCOM and St Stephen’s Shopping Centre among many others.

The Young Enterprise scheme has been running for decades

Mrs Tinsley said: “We want to thank everyone who supports us because without we would not have the success we have in Hull or across Yorkshire and the Humber.

“Thanks goes out to people who volunteer and give their time but also to people who give up their office space and boardrooms for the children.

“The support we receive is fantastic and we would not be able to do it without that.”

The winners of the county final will go on to battle it out against other teams across Yorkshire and the Humber in the regional final on June 13 aboard the Pride of Hull.

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