Young entrepreneurs prove their worth

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Enterprising students from across the Rochford District battled it out in a competition to be named ‘Young Entrepreneurs 2016.’
Teams from Years 9 and 10 at Greensward Academy, King Edmunds School, Sweyne Park School and The FitzWimarc School took part in the special business challenge on Tuesday, June 14, where they proved they had the skills to succeed in the world of work. 
Organised by Rochford District Council and The Enterprise in Education Partnership Ltd, and hosted by Greensward Academy, this is the sixth year that this competition has been held.  
This year, the ten teams of enthusiastic students had to consider how they would attract visitors to the River Crouch, promote the area’s natural beauty including the RSPB Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project and unite the population from both sides of the river.
As part of the challenge they had to arrange an event and promote it with creative materials, create a Coastal Visitors Guide, and give a presentation to a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style judging panel. They also produced a 30-second TV advert, filmed and edited by Ben Scarsbrook of Blatella Films.
This year’s winners were a team from Year 10 at Sweyne Park School, made up of Conner Agius as Project Leader, Lewis Cannon, Natasha Damljanovic, Lauren Shorter and Sian Reed.
Their concept involved the promotion of the Rochford District’s historical significance with its links to King Canute, and Conner even dressed up in full royal regalia for the challenge! The judges were particularly impressed that the team had thought to take the tides into account when organising their event on the River Crouch. The winning team were not only given a trophy but will also be taken on a VIP tour of London Southend Airport.
Sue Elliot, Director of The Enterprise in Education Partnership Limited, said: “Once again, the Rochford Young Entrepreneurs Competition delighted everyone with some outstanding achievements. Designed to develop a key understanding of how business operates and to develop entrepreneurial skills, this programme went further by giving each team the opportunity to look at local issues affecting their community. Their ideas and enthusiasm really captivated the audience and as one business partner put it ‘Rochford and its neighbours have a bright future if these young people are anything to go by’.”
The 2016 judging panel was a mix of local know-how and successful business people and was made up of Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community, Cllr June Lumley; Mike Robinson, Head of Business Development & Customer Relations at London Southend Airport; Jared Chin-a-Loy, Managing Director of HCL Accountancy in Rochford and Ken Wickham, Chairman of Castle Point & Rochford Employment, Skills and Business Group. 
Cllr Lumley said: “It really was a tough decision to pick a winning team, as I was so impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit of all the young people who took part. It is clear that the representatives from all four schools have a wealth of creativity that will be an asset to future employers.
“Events such as these are brilliant for drawing out the natural abilities of these young people and for giving them the confidence to succeed in their chosen careers.”
The judges also singled out the following students for awards:
Individual Award
Ben Cluett from King Edmund School won the Project Leader of the Day Award
Outstanding Achievement Awards
Millie Cox from King Edmund School
Molly Eyers from King Edmund School
Charlie Cassidy from Greensward Academy
Harry Valance from Greensward Academy 
Milla Middleton-Dansie from Greensward Academy
Abbey Chapman from FitzWimarc School
Taylor Berry from FitzWimarc School