Young entrepreneurs from Kingsbridge Community College have been dealt an ace winning the YE Plymouth Area Final with their sustainable card game.

The student team won the first round of the YE Company Programme 2020 competition by impressing the judges with their business concept which encourages card players to consider how they can have a positive sustainable impact on their community.

Under the company name of ‘Holesome’ the YE team produced a pack of playing cards called Chin-Wag Cards featuring a local business sponsor in the South Hams area as well as a selected sustainability tip to encourage people to live a more ‘wholesome’ lifestyle.

Following the Coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing school closures, contingency plans were put in place to enable the participating schools to submit their entries digitally. Teams were invited to submit a company report; a photo of a trade stand and video presentation showcasing their achievements.

The judges: Tony Earl of Equitas Financial (UK) Ltd; Jessica Holliland of Plymouth Social Enterprise Network; online games entrepreneur & web-site builder Mark Poles of Shop on the Borderlands; William Telford business editor of Reach PLC, scored the teams in various categories.

As well as winning the Best Overall Company trophy, sponsored by Babcock International, Holesome were also awarded the Best Teamwork trophy, sponsored by Citybus and Financial Capability Trophy sponsored by Mark Holt.

Plymouth High School for Girls’ company Scentimental produced a handmade, scented revision set, comprising scented candles and pencils to help aid memory recall. They won the Marketing Trophy sponsored by The Range and The Innovation Trophy, sponsored by Plymouth City Councillor Jonathan Drean.

Devonport High School for Girls’ company Phoenix produced a recipe book ‘Footsteps of Food’ to inspire children to learn about the journey of the food they eat. They also gain an understanding about the importance of locally sourced ingredients, food miles, eating healthily, whilst having fun and growing their own seeds. Phoenix won the Quality Award Trophy sponsored by Steve Gerry, Secretary of the Plymouth Manufacturing Group and were joint winners of GA Solicitor’s CSR award, also awarded to Happy Homes from Tor

Bridge High School, which picked up the Endeavour Trophy, sponsored by Drake Circus, for their functional and sustainable wooden hedgehog homes and rustic rock art products.

YE Area Manager Stephanie Anderson, said: “The YE Company Programme is an effective springboard to help youngsters achieve sought after employability and leadership skills. This year all the students had to show exceptional resilience and determination and exceeded our expectations. They should all be justifiably proud.

“We all need to thank YE’s sponsors, business advisers, teachers and judges for their continued support in these unprecedented times. By investing in our youngsters, we are investing in our future economy.”

The Holesome team were supported by business advisers Graham Gilbert and Neil Girling; alongside KCC’s YE centre lead Fiona Bennett. “This YE employability programme helps youngsters develop in so many valuable ways and achieve their true potential,” said Graham Gilbert.

“Holesome worked exceptionally hard. They faced many challenges including receiving the first delivery of their playing cards only one week before Lockdown saw The Trade Fair, The Farmer’s Market and many of the designated stockists closed down.

“These boys came together as a group of six friends and have developed into a team that can plan, work together to achieve a goal, overcome challenges and present themselves in a professional way when dealing with business leaders – their progress has been nothing short of remarkable and we are very proud of them.”

KCC, PHSG and DHSG’s companies will now compete against entries from The Maynard School, Ilfracombe Academy and Exeter School for the title: Best Overall YE Company in Devon which will be judged on April 30.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic YE was positioning itself as the leading financial literacy, enterprise and entrepreneurship charity for young people in the UK. Every year YE works with over 250,000 young people, supports over 9,000 teachers in both enterprise and financial education, with the help of more than 7,000 volunteers and 3,500 businesses. Since we were established, over 4 million young people have taken part in Young Enterprise programmes in the UK. Contact Stephanie at stephanie.anderson@y-e.org.uk.

Young Enterprise research shows Company Programme participants develop key employability skills and a longitudinal study of Company Programme alumni has shown that in the two years following the programme, 94% are in education, employment or training [EET] – 5% higher than the national rate.

Sharon Davies, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, said: “Reaching the Company Programme Devon Final represents an inspirational journey with many months of hard work, teamwork, creativity and resilience; congratulations Holesome. The experience and skills students from every team will have developed will stay with them for many years to come and will make a tangible difference to their futures. Students have shown particular resilience this year by continuing with their product development and sales despite school closures”.

Ian Stuart, HSBC UK CEO, said: “As businesses large and small are facing new and unprecedented challenges to meet the needs of their customers and wider stakeholders, it’s more important than ever that we support and nurture young, innovative entrepreneurs across Britain. The resilience and leadership shown by year’s cohort of Company Programme finalists is inspiring, and we look forward to their continuing success in the months and years to come.”

About Young Enterprise
  • Young Enterprise is a national education charity that motivates young people to succeed in the changing world of work by equipping them with the work skills, knowledge and confidence they need.
  • Every year we work with 315,000 young people, and support 8,450 teachers in both enterprise and financial education, with the help of more than 6,000 business volunteers.
  • 94% of Young Enterprise Company Programme Alumni are in Education, Employment or Training – 5% higher than the national average.
  • Founded in 1962, Young Enterprise is part of global network JA operating in 120 countries.
  • Our ‘No Time Like The Future’ campaign aims to create one million opportunities to help young people activate their ambition, boost inclusion among young people and mobilise 40,000 volunteers, teachers and alumni by 2023. To learn more about our commitment to the next generation: young-enterprise.org.uk/NTLTF

For more information: www.young-enterprise.org.uk or email papr@y-e.org.uk