They’re the business!

Clitheroe Royal Grammar School's award-winning Young Enterprise team, 2011
Clitheroe Royal Grammar School's award-winning Young Enterprise team, 2011

MORE than capable of giving Lord Alan Sugar’s apprentices a run for their money, a 20-strong team of 16-year olds from Clitheroe Royal Grammar School will represent the North West in the national finals of the Young Enterprise Awards 2011.

The young entrepreneurs founded and run a thriving eco gift bag firm, “thECOmpany”, in the Young Enterprise competition to find Britain’s most promising future business people.

Now down to the final 12 out of 3,000 school-based businesses, thECOmpany is headed by a presenting team of managing director Alex Heyworth, financial director Rebecca Winkley, marketing director Sam Hampson, sales director Abigail Beckett and deputy finance and IT director Matthew Moriarty.

As part of their prize for winning the regional finals with their successful presentation to more than 250 people at Manchester’s Concorde Conference Centre, the team won mentoring sessions with straight-talking BBC Apprentice runner-up, Ruth Badger, to help them on to the finals. They will be held from July 11th to 13th at The Savoy Hotel, in London. If they manage to beat the other 11 finalists, thECOmpany will represent the UK at the European Final in Oslo in August.

Formed last September, the CRGS firm has generated profits of more than £1500, selling its eco-friendly gift sets which contain a range of carefully selected natural products from rose bath bombs to Costa Rican coffee, all presented in a branded jute bag.

The team also generated a large Twitter following and developed a website. To win through the first two rounds, the team competed against a large range of innovative ideas, including a healthy children’s cookbook and an internet safety initiative.

Sales director Abigail Beckett commented: “The Young Enterprise Scheme brings fantastic opportunities, such as the chance to present in front of 250 people at the Concorde Conference Centre. During the process we have all gained confidence and new skills which should see us do well in the national final.”