Young Enterprise West Midlands Company of the Year 2013 event – a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in our region

Setting a welcome precedent the Young Enterprise Company of the Year Competition 2013 event was held at the University of Worcester.

Postcode Anywhere has been giving a ”Best Use of IT award” at local and county levels for the past five years and naturally when Young Enterprise asked us if we would like to present an award at the West Midlands competition we were delighted to oblige.

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Traditionally the West Midlands competition has been held at venues including Birmingham, Coventry and Stafford. We were thrilled that the University of Worcester (within Young Enterprise’s South Worcestershire Area Board’s boundary) was chosen to host the event this year. The University’s new Riverside sports and conference facility offered a perfect location for our visiting schools. Students, teaching professionals and other supporters from The Black Country, Birmingham and Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire Young Enterprise regions seemed to be very happy with the venue.

Hosting the event was made even more exciting for us in the City of Worcester as students from The King’s School (Postcode Anywhere’s next door neighbours in fact) were chosen to represent the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. It was very gratifying to witness the young achievers from WigWam, perform at home rather than away.

WigWam won the Postcode Anywhere Best Use of Technology award at both Young Enterprise Area Board and Strategic events. At the West Midlands Company of the Year event they secured the Leadership and the Financial Management awards and really did us proud. The company’s product was a range of stunning pewter jewellery.

Representing Coventry and Warwickshire were students from Stratford Girls’ Grammar School and their Young Enterprise company Eloquence. We were thrilled that they won the Postcode Anywhere Best Use of IT award. Our CTO Jamie Turner was born, bred and educated in Alcester (near Stratford), Warwickshire so we like to think that we have a strong connection with the area.

Young Enterprise students from Eloquence created a series of poetry books that were devised to help pre-school children gain an understanding of classic literature. They won Postcode Anywhere’s Best Use of Technology award because they demonstrated that they had used a variety of technologies within their business operations to promote their products and improve corporate communications.

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The company that went on to represent the West Midlands in the national competition was Equippo from Alleynes High School in Stone, Staffordshire. Students wowed the judges with their presentation and, innovative and rather funky, personalised earphone holders designed to prevent earphones from getting tangled and damaged.

The Young Enterprise West Midlands final in common with other local events use a national judging criteria to balance the view of the business achievements of each team as a whole as well as individual students’ personal achievements. To win an award at any stage of the competition participants must demonstrate that they have done more than help to run a financially successful company or create an exciting product or service.

All the students that competed in the West Midlands event ran their own successful business over the last academic year (2012/2013) supported by business mentors and link teachers.  During that period they gain hands on experience of problem solving, teamwork, communication, managing risk, creativity, leadership and innovation. This experience will help to equip them with these skills in the future, no matter what career path they may choose to follow.

Needless to say we wish the members of Equippo the very best of luck at the Young Enterprise Company of the Year Awards 2013 on Monday 1st July which is being held at Kensington Town Hall in London.