Imberhorne School

Young Enterprise 2020 judging goes digital

This year’s Young Enterprise Business competition has still been completed despite the Coronavirus outbreak and the local winners have been announced.

Young Enterprise is now an international competition for schools, challenging students to set up a company and run it like a normal business to the best of their ability. They get support from local business volunteers, who provide advice and guidance when they need it throughout the year-long process.

The competition initially starts at a local level – the Horsham, Crawley and Mid- Sussex area schools pitted their ideas and business abilities against each other over the length of the academic school year to date for 2020. The competition then moves to the County level, then regional, national and then onto European and Global levels.

As a result of the Coronavirus, the local area competition was judged remotely by webcam discussion on Monday 23 March. The judges were local business people, who volunteer their time to support the programme. This year Kate Bennett, Manager of East Grinstead Business Partnership, Rex Whittaker, long-serving businessman from the construction industry, and young entrepreneur and former Young Enterprise participant, Harry Daymond, were the judges. They were also joined by the Chairman of the Board, Leigh Chambers who manages employment programmes for Horsham District Council and Young Enterprise Manager, Matt Ryan.

Six schools took part, two from Millais Girls School and one from Collyer’s College, both in Horsham. There were also four school companies from Mid- Sussex: Imberhorne, Sackville, Warden Park and Hurstpierpoint College.

The school companies had to plan, trade, market and develop their businesses over the six month period and at the end of this period, prior to judging, they had to submit a business report and provide a presentation and images of their products on their trade stand.

All the judges concluded that this was probably the most contested competition locally for many years and were impressed with all the companies that took part. On the day when all the students would normally have been at the showcase finals, which were due to be held at Millais School in Horsham, they were instead at home after the schools had closed. So, the awards were decided over the internet from the business plans, reports, videos and images which the companies submitted.

The Best Company Award went to Bitki of Imberhorne School from East Grinstead, who made and sold terrariums, goldfish bowls filled with cacti and succulents sourced locally. The products which varied in size and therefore price, were attractive and had added value as a mental health and self-care object. The company made a profit of £460 and also won the Best Presentation and Team Journey Awards.

Runner Up was RECO from Hurstpierpoint College, with their soft toy handmade from recycled clothes. They won the Sustainability award category for their products which carried the strong message not to fill our landfill sites with clothing. Both Bitki and RECO will go forward to the County Finals where they both stand a great chance of success.

The Horsham school companies proved to be strong competition with Respire from Collyer’s College winning the Best Marketing Award and Letterbox from Millais Girls school winning the Best Customer Service Award.


Notes to editors

Young Enterprise is a business competition for schools which has been running for 50 years nationally. The competition starts locally within the North Sussex area including schools from Horsham and Crawley.

Students are tasked to start up a business, including setting up a business bank account, writing a business plan, producing products and selling them to produce income and a profit.  They are provided with advisers from the business world – local volunteers who offer their experience of business for free.

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Author: fiona bewers
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