The final was supported by Browne Jacobson LLP, Nottingham Business School and The Nottingham and East Midlands Railway.
Students from Leicester Grammar School have been crowned Best Overall Company at the Young Enterprise East Midlands Regional Final 2021.
The final, which was supported by Browne Jacobson LLP, Nottingham Business School and The Nottingham and East Midlands Railway, celebrated the achievements of students who have set up and run a company over the academic year as part of the Young Enterprise Company Programme.
Four teams from across the East Midlands competed to win a range of awards including the Innovation Award, Teamwork Award and Best Presentation. The overall YE Company of the Year winning team, Kaizen, will go on to represent the East Midlands at the Young Enterprise UK Company of the Year Final (and potentially represent the UK in the JA European final).
Kaizen created and sold a range of environmental books for children to help them learn about ways to help our planet. This team also won the Customer Focus and Marketing Award and their company presentation was judged to be the best at the digital final.
The judges also awarded a range of other awards to YE student companies from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School from Derbyshire, Nottingham High School and Spalding Grammar School from Lincolnshire.
Sharon Davies, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, said:
“Reaching the Company Programme Regional Final represents an inspirational journey with many months of hard work, teamwork, creativity and resilience; congratulations Kaizen The experience and skills students from every team will have developed will stay with them for many years to come and will make a tangible difference to their futures. Young people have shown particular resilience this year by continuing with their product development and sales despite long periods of lockdown measures being in place.”
Mark Blois head of education at Browne Jacobson, added:
“The Young Enterprise competition is a fantastic initiative and as a firm that has a strong track record in supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs across the country we were delighted to be involved. The quality of the work produced by the young people is always exceptional, but this year, the shortlisted groups took it to the next level continuing the rich entrepreneurial heritage of the East Midlands. Their passion and creativity shone through as they thought outside-the-box in order to establish and maintain successful ‘companies’ against the backdrop of the pandemic. The experience is very relatable and will have helped them to understand how businesses have had to respond to the biggest challenge society has faced in decades. We wish Kaizen all the very best at the national finals.”
Young Enterprise is a national charity which works to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in the changing world of work. Young Enterprise’s vision is that every young person is given an equal opportunity to learn the vital skills needed to earn and look after their money, to develop an enterprising mindset and to make a valuable contribution to their communities and wider society.
This year, students across the country have set up companies over the academic year, making all the decisions about their business, from deciding the company name and product, to creating a business plan, managing their finances and selling their products – despite challenging conditions due to Covid-19.