The future of business is in excellent hands if the evidence of this week’s Young Enterprise Shropshire Awards are an indicator.

The two teams from Newport Girls High School
The two teams from Newport Girls High School

We were delighted to sponsor a category again this year, which gave me the chance to see what the young people from schools across the county had been doing to put business theory into practice.

With the guidance of volunteer mentors from the business community and the backing and support of their schools, these enthusiastic teenagers go the extra mile to form a company, take on the roles typically found in any commercial organisation, invent a product, put it into production, market it and go through the challenge of presenting everything they have done to judges and their peers. Oh, and they try to make a profit in the process.

What they put themselves through is really not something to be underestimated and the heights of their achivements, as demonstrated at the awards night, are mightly impressive.

Once again I was fortunate to spend the night in the company of staff and pupils from Newport Girls High School, who are a credit to their families, their school and their town in their demeanour, manners and obvious motivation. Also with them was the school’s designated Young Enterprise Business Advisor, Emma Cantillion, who herself scooped the 2017 West Midlands award for best Business Advisor and who, like the other advisors, donates a significant amount of her own time to the cause.

There’s a highly dedicated committee and army of volunteers behind the challenge, who work year round to provide this opportunity to the students, so hats off to them because initiatives such as this are vital to bringing education and the business community together.

The overall winner this year was a group of 14-year-olds from Hadley Learning Centre who created a memorable business called Umberbags and presented it superbly. Huge congratulations to everyone who took part.

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