This year saw two teams of students entering into the UK Young Enterprise Competition.
Impera, a group of 11 students, lead well by Lewis Williams, created a GCSE revision book, designed to help fellow students as they embark through the journey and stress of GCSEs. Having been written by students that had just been through this, it gave an extremely realistic insight into the many topics surrounding GCSEs and what happens after them. The book was a huge success at Ranelagh, as business boomed during early March, meaning that the company almost doubled their profits in one week, which was an amazing result.
The years’ most successful team, however, was Framed! Initially the team struggled to choose a product, and it was actually the teams’ second choice that made it to production, however it played to their advantage, as soon the orders began to flow in. Consisting of only 9 students, it sold creatively-designed frames containing scrabble lettering, on patterned card.
The first major trade fair they attended was the Ranelagh Christmas market 2017. Not only did it give them their first opportunity for selling, but it also established their company image. They sold just under 30 frames, and took a further 15 orders, that really helped the company to start finding its feet. This fair really gave them the confidence that they needed in the product.
The next major trade fair that they attended was a trade fair at the Lexicon Shopping Centre, on 10th March. We mostly took orders for their personalised family frames and Mothers’ Day frames, which they were able to make on the day. They cooked up the idea to use a baking rack to orientate the letters, which might sound a bit weird, but it really helped them to speed up production. Not only was this great for their customers, who could take home their product there and then without hassle, but it also allowed them to showcase their production techniques. Their customers were able to watch how their products were being made and this really helped with sales. To top it all off, Framed! won Best Trade Stand at this event, which again increased their confidence.
With the local heats of the Company of the Year awards looming, both teams tried to get in as many sales as possible for their products, before this deadline. The local heats of the Company of the Year awards were on the 19th April where both teams joined fellow competitors in setting up their trade stands, having team interviews and performing the dreaded presentation.
The event proved very successful with Framed! taking home the award for Best Company Report, and coming 2nd place in the final, putting them through to the County finals. We are really proud of both teams, and although Impera didn’t get an award, their hard work, determination and profits, showed them to be a viable and established company.
All teams at the County final had upped their game, and although Framed! fought hard to showcase their company and product, there were some other companies that were just slightly more established. Framed! left with their heads held high and even though they didn’t take any awards home that evening, they were still very proud of the fact that they made it to the next round of the competition. In fact, this was the first time in a few years that a Ranelagh team made it to the Counties, so they were really delighted with this result.
After a stressful, and maybe slightly gruelling journey, we can safely say that both teams have progressed so much since first starting this programme. They are so proud to have got where they did, and this would not have been, without the amazing help of Mr Ames and Mrs Hartley, who were dedicated to help them where needed, and for that they are hugely thankful.
By Adriana Tubb 12D