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Students receive real-life entrepreneurial experience while competing for awards

Students from schools and colleges across Greater Manchester participated in Young Enterprise’s Showcase at Oldham College Business Centre last week, showcasing their businesses to a panel of judges and competing for various awards, including the Northwest regional award next month.

Since its founding in 1962 (and launching its first programme in 1963), Young Enterprise (YE) has reached over 7.2 million young people. The charity organisation inspires and equips young people to develop the skills and confidence they need to realise their full potential in the rapidly changing world of work.

“We believe that no young person should be left behind. Our vision is that every young person is provided with the opportunity to learn the vital skills needed to earn and look after their money, develop an enterprising mindset and make a valuable contribution to their communities and wider society. Our mission is to empower young people to discover, develop and celebrate their skills and potential,” said YE Philanthropy Manager Viv Couche.

YE’s flagship ‘Company Programme’ is a real-life learning opportunity that empowers young people aged 13-19 to set up and run their own student company over the course of an academic year. With guidance from a volunteer business mentor and access to extensive resources from YE, the student teams make all the decisions about their business, from choosing their company name, managing the company finances and selling to the public. Over the course of the programme, young people are introduced to the realities of the world of work, gain practical business experience, develop an enterprising mindset, and build employability skills.

At the showcase event, the student companies were judged across three areas:

  • Business Report submitted prior to the event    
  • Team Interview
  • Presentation
  • Trade Stand

Two panels, representing a broad mix of business sectors, judged the teams. The judges agreed that determining the winners from the Showcase was very challenging, given the extremely high standard of entries this year.

Teams taking part were:


Team Name


Award won

Oldham College

Eco Scope

Cushion covers & bags made from recycled fabrics



Gift bags of sweets with 30% of profits donated to charity


Bluecoat School

Hive Minded**

Bees Wax reusable wraps

Judges Award

Wool Works


Coasters made from punch needle and crocheted wool

Judges Award

Bury Grammar School

Hot Stuff

Hand poured scented candles

Winners Award

New Bridge School*


Tactile toys for mindfulness and stress relief


Oldham Hulme Grammar

Bee Green

Eco friendly beeswax products


Oldham Sixth Form College

Baby Blooms

Crocheted flowers


North Chadderton School

Night Lite

Reflective, safety arm bands and related products

Winners Award

Firwood High School*

Firwood Print Wizards

Personalised t-shirts, mugs, keyrings

Presentation Award

*New Bridge and Firwood High School are both schools for statemented or SEND learners.

The two teams that will now progress to the North West Final, which will be held at Manchester Metropolitan University on 24th April, are Hot Stuff from Bury Grammar School and Night Lite from North Chadderton.

“We are especially grateful to the Jigsaw Foundation (Jigsaw Homes) for their support for our work in Oldham, Manchester and Miles Platting, which enables young people to participate in our impactful programmes,” Young Enterprise spokesperson Viv said.



If you have a story, I want to hear about it. I cover all things Oldham. Please mail me at arundhati@questmedianetwork.co.uk

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