Students from Newquay Tretherras School, Cornwall have been crowned Best Overall Company at the South West Young Enterprise Regional Final. The final, held digitally over zoom on Thursday, 19 May 2022, celebrated students who have set up and run a company over the academic year as part of the Young Enterprise Company Programme.

Seven teams from the South West competed across six categories – Sustainability, Best Presentation, Impact & Legacy, Teamwork, Runner-up and Overall Winner – with a prize for each. The winning team, Ocean Revolution from Newquay Tretherras School, will go on to represent the South West at the UK Company of the Year final in London on 14th June and could potentially represent the UK in the JA European final.

Young Enterprise is a national charity which works to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in the changing world of work. This year, students across the country have set up almost 1,000 companies over the academic year, making all the decisions about their business, from deciding the company name and product, to creating a business plan, managing their finances and selling their products.

The winning team, Ocean Revolution created and sold items made from objects recycled from the local beach. Ocean Revolution Managing Director Jenna Vittle said; “We are very honoured to be representing the South West in the Young Enterprise regional finals with our business, Ocean Revolution.  Since September we have worked tirelessly to get our mission out there into our community, using their feedback to inform and change along the way.  Our most proud moment was winning the Sustainability award, proving to us that we are making a difference in the fight against plastic pollution”.

Team Member, Grace Combelleck, continued “I am so happy that our hard work has paid off.  This win has only inspired us to work even harder to find a more efficient method in collecting micro plastics off our local beaches.  We are also working on finding a more environmentally friendly alternative to resin and are talking to local surfboard shapers to explore new ideas so watch this space.”

The companies were judged by Ronni Allsopp (St James’s Place), Andrew Mines (Watson Marlow), Justin Olosunde (University of Exeter and South West Business Council), Ellie Martin (Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust and Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network) and Emma Morris (Great Western Railway).

Justin Olosunde said; “All the young entrepreneurs demonstrated a commitment to teamwork, community engagement, and sustainability while delivering a suite of credible products to market, and I am assured in my role as a director of Southwest Business Council that I am confident our regional future business performance is safe in their hands”

Ronni Allsopp continued; “I thoroughly enjoyed judging the South West Regional Finals.  Such a valuable opportunity for young people to develop their employability and entrepreneurial skills and the standard of the finalists certainly demonstrated they had taken full advantage!   I’m looking forward to being involved again in the future!”

In addition to the Overall Winner the judges also awarded:-

Runner Up                              Ithomia, Bournemouth School for Girls

Sustainability                         Ocean Revolution, Newquay Tretherras

Best Presentation                   Empower, St Mary’s School

Impact & Legacy                     B Well, Cheltenham Bournside School

Teamwork                               Valley Accessories, Chew Valley School

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.

The schools competing in the South West Young Enterprise Company Programme Final were:

  • Ocean Revolution – Products made from items recycled from the beach – from Newquay Tretherras School, Cornwall
  • Ithomia – A Dorset colouring book – Bournemouth School for Girls, Dorset
  • Empower – Coffee sourced from an organisation that focuses on empowering women – St Mary’s Calne, Wiltshire
  • B Well – A book to aid mental health – Cheltenham Bournside School, Gloucestershire
  • Valley Accessories – Jewellery for young people – Chew Valley School, West of England
  • Tote.lly – Tote bags with a female empowerment theme – Plymouth High School for Girls, Devon
  • WorldTour – An environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bags – King Alfred School, Somerset