Bright sparks' business bonanza

IT'S one of those jobs everybody hates - yet it can make all the difference to personal appearance.No-one likes polishing their shoes, but enterprising 11-year-old Tom Hunwicke wants to make it easier - and is setting up his own shoe-shine business.

IT'S one of those jobs everybody hates - yet it can make all the difference to personal appearance.

No-one likes polishing their shoes, but enterprising 11-year-old Tom Hunwicke wants to make it easier - and is setting up his own shoe-shine business.

The youngster is one of a group of students at Felixstowe's Deben High School who have come up with ideas to form their own companies, drawing up business plans, putting in place marketing and setting about working on their projects.

They will be selling their goods and services at a new monthly farmer's market being launched at the school in Garrison Lane - the first is on Saturday from 9am to noon in the upper school hall, featuring a range of stalls including the youngsters' stands.

Tom's one-man Super Shoe Shining Company will be polishing shoes for £2 a time.

He said: “I am a Sea Cadet and I have to polish my boots every week. My mum told me there used to be people who did this for other people in the street.

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“I plan to offer them a newspaper to read while I work and perhaps a cup of tea.”

He asked ten people what they would pay for a shoe-shine and took the average to set his price.

Ryan Francis and Josh Dunbar, both 15, have set up Gravity Web Services, designing web sites.

Ryan said: “Many people would like a web site - even just a blog they could write and update - but struggle with computers and find it too complex to set up.

“Our aim is to keep it simple, explain everything in simple terms and make it easy for people.”

Josh said they would set up web sites to people's requirements and teach them how to update the site, with a trouble-shooting guide and follow-up support for anyone who had problems.

Deben Badges has been set up by Alex Avery, 11, who is using a badge-making kit to make a range of badges and ones using customers' designs.

He said: “It's very quick and easy to do - I can make a badge in about ten seconds and reckon I can make 10p profit on each one.”

Teacher Darryl James was impressed with the students' enthusiasm and the way they had worked out the cost of materials, profit projections and put their ideas into practice.

“There are other groups of students getting involved, too, and I am hoping more will join.”

It is also hoped in the new year to use land at the school to grow vegetables to sell at the markets.

Is you school involved in special projects? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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