Suffolk teenagers through to final

ENTERPRISING Suffolk teenagers who have successfully sold their products in 11 countries are pitting their wits against teams from all over Britain in a bid to become its top young business people.

ENTERPRISING Suffolk teenagers who have successfully sold their products in 11 countries are pitting their wits against teams from all over Britain in a bid to become its top young business people.

Iceni, the Young Enterprise company from Woodbridge School, beat 500 companies in the region to go through to the National Young Business of the Year final.

Having won the East of England Young Business of the Year Award, they are now hoping to become national champions at the Savoy Hotel in London.

The company produces and sells polka dot brooms, terracotta pots and individually designed handmade jewellery through four retail outlets and their website. They have also sold products abroad and gained repeat orders.

Twenty five lower sixth form students from the school make up Iceni, which has its own senior management team who will be attending the final.

Managing director Flo Gillingham said: “We are really looking forward to it.

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“Taking part in the scheme has given us a brilliant opportunity to learn at first hand what it is like to run a business.”

During the event they will be asked to submit a company report, create a trade stand where they will be questioned about their products and be grilled by a panel of judges before giving a presentation to an audience of 200 invited guests.

The winners will go on to the European final in Berlin later this year.

In preparation for the regional stage of the competition Iceni - which takes its name from the Celtic tribe which occupied the area during the first century AD and was renowned for its determination, loyalty, creativity and fearlessness - gave a presentation about their company to Doug Richard of Dragon's Den to help identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Launched in 1963, national education charity Young Enterprise runs programmes for over 75,000 young people with the support of more than 2,000 businesses and over 11,500 volunteers.

Its mission is “to inspire and equip young people to learn and succeed through enterprise”.

What do you think of Iceni's success? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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