Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Company of the Year; Supported by Sage UK Ltd Young Enterprise Awards

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Company of the Year; Supported by Sage UK Ltd Young Enterprise Awards

Article excerpt

A TEAM of young entrepreneurs from Hartlepool have scooped the title of Company of the Year in the Young Enterprise awards 2008.

LanguAges, the brainchild of students from the English Martyr's School & Sixth Form College, aims to provide a quality educational resource to help teenagers learn French. The young entrepreneurs created a pack which includes fun French games, shopping, clothes and class card games along with CD Roms which they sell to schools and parents. The award was supported by Sage (UK) Ltd.

Catherine Marchant, chief executive of Young Enterprise North East (YENE), which organises the annual awards, said: "This has been the toughest year yet. The standard of entries has been exceptionally high. The innovation from all of the student companies has been outstanding.

"The winners stood out as they had put some real thought into the nature of the product, their business and their market. It's been a fantastically good competition."

Linda Ward, Link Teacher, said: "We are over the moon about winning the regional final. The LanguAges group have worked so hard and really have a viable product to market and sell. As well as being overall winners, they also won the Most Creative Company Award and it is not hard to see why the judges thought their ideas were innovative.

"They have really developed as entrepreneurs. They have worked well as a team, used their initiative to solve problems and make decisions. As individuals, they are so much more confident - I don't think that a year ago they could have envisaged standing up in front of hundreds of business people and delivering a presentation.

"We are so proud of them and wish them every success in the national finals."

The runners up were Voila! from Central Newcastle High School, Newcastle, which was started by 13 girls in September last year and provides a bespoke waitressing service. The other two companies through to the final were Way2Go Events, Carmel RC College, Darlington, and Educrate, from Newcastle Church High School.

LanguAges will represent the region in the UK Young Enterprise final later this year. The students said: "Young Enterprise has opened our eyes to the world of business.

"We learnt about the different departments of a company and the importance of each. Since our product was very time consuming and labour intensive it was essential that we learnt time and resource management.

"This was the first time many of us had worked in a large group, therefore this experience enabled us to gain valuable team working skills.

"We learnt that communication and problem solving are two of the most vital components for the success of a business.

"LanguAges has shown creative flair, dedication, and determination to reach the top. We have all greatly enjoyed the valuable experience that is the Young Enterprise Company Programme, and have learnt so much throughout the process. …

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