Students from schools across the Island came together for the grand final of the Young Enterprise and Ed-WISE company programme yesterday (Thursday) at Quay Arts in Newport.
Ed-WISE is a charitable organisation that supports Island communities, and aims to improve life chances for young people. They bring local businesses and education sectors closer together by promoting exciting, less obvious career opportunities.
Carla Bradshaw, from the Ed-WISE leadership team, spoke about the company programme. She said: “The aim of Ed-WISE is to connect education and businesses by providing those opportunities for children to gain the skills and experience they need, and to find out what they’re good and bad at.
“We can make that difference to actually increase the chances for children, and that’s what we aim to do.”
The first part of the programme took place last year, when companies formed by school teams pitched business ideas to a panel of representatives from Island businesses in a Dragon’s Den style event. Cash rewards were given to the companies that had the best pitches.
The grand final was also in a Dragon’s Den format, with seven groups of students from Ryde Academy Sixth Form, Medina College, Carisbrooke College, IW College and St Catherine’s giving their final presentation of their company and business idea to the panel to be judged.
Four awards for marketing, sustainability, teamwork and the best company overall were handed out.
Fortunate Events, an events company from Ryde Academy Sixth Form won the marketing award for their use of social media to promote events they hosted. The sustainability award went to Medina College’s group, Medina Woodworking, for turning old wooden pallets into plant pots to be sold. The teamwork award went to Dye Hard from St Catherine’s School, who worked together to make tie-dye t-shirts and tote bags. Ryde Academy Sixth Form group, Smile Buddy, took the top spot, winning the award for the best company. They created sustainable dental hygiene products sold as a subscription box.
The other groups present at the final were Bakerlicious from Carisbrooke College, IW Bottles & Co and Pots R Us, both from the IW College.
David Thornton, CEO of Ed-WISE, closed the awards. He said: “Thank you all for coming and taking part. We thoroughly enjoyed the presentations and look forward to seeing schools joining the programme that starts in September.”