Budding entrepreneurs are tops

Clitheroe Young Enterprise's winning team
Clitheroe Young Enterprise's winning team

A TEAM of Clitheroe students who set up a company selling animal-shaped backpacks for children have been judged East Lancashire’s top young entrepreneurs in a national competition.

The 15-16 year-olds from Clitheroe Royal Grammar School set up The Adventure Backpack Company as part of a Young Enterprise scheme, which enables young people to gain business experience by setting up and running their own companies for a year.

They created and produced the colourful backpacks in the shape of animals and creatures such as monkeys, penguins, dogs and bees and filled them with reusable items to educate and entertain youngsters at any time or place.

The students beat off teams from three other East Lancashire schools to win the top award of “Best Company” at the Young Enterprise Strategic Final at St Michael and St John’s Parish Hall, in Lowergate, Clitheroe. They also came away with the awards for best presentation and best trade stand.

The enterprising students will now compete against teams from all over the North East at the regional finals next month with the winners set to take part in the national final in London in July.

Isla Makenzie, the company’s managing director, said: “We are extremely happy and proud that we have won this round in the competition and it is brilliant to be recognised for all the hard work we’ve all done. There have been challenges but all have been overcome, mainly due to the fantastic team we have. We can’t wait to take part in the next stage of the competition and we hope to represent East Lancashire extremely well, making the school, the area and ourselves proud.”

Tony Hewitt, Young Enterprise Manager for East Lancashire, said: “The students have done really well to get to this stage in the competition and I wish them the best of luck at the North West regional finals. I am sure they will do East Lancashire proud.”

Year 10 students from Ribblesdale High School won awards for Best Business Plan and Best Company Report with their company Presence, which designed and sold hand-made cards and a cookery book of favourite recipes.

More than 120 14 to 18-year-olds in schools across East Lancashire have taken part in the Young Enterprise Company Programme this year and set up a total of eight businesses with help from local business volunteers.