Youngsters ready for showers

THIS month may have started with wall-to-wall sunshine, but that hasn't stopped a group of young entrepreneurs being showered with success for their lively personalised umbrellas - and now they could be cleaning up in the spring showers.

THIS month may have started with wall-to-wall sunshine, but that hasn't stopped a group of young entrepreneurs being showered with success for their lively personalised umbrellas - and now they could be cleaning up in the spring showers.

Tollie's Brollies - a business created by sixth form students of Woodbridge School - won three awards at the Suffolk final of the Young Enterprise Company of the Year competition, including the all winners cup.

The team, which demonstrated the highs and lows of their business activity with a computer presentation, company report and trade stand, will now go on to represent the county at the regional final in Cambridge next month.

The competition continues to national and European events later in the year.

Tollie's Brollies' mission was “to lighten your mood and see you through a rainy day” with a range of bright personalised designs on their umbrellas for adults and children which have been marketed through street fairs, a company website and shops.

Fellow Woodbridge School students who formed a company called Aurora, which produces placemats and personalised eco-friendly wrapping paper, achieved success by winning the innovation, best trade stand and most effective financial management awards.

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Other winners were - the Allstars from Westbourne Sports College for best personnel management, Chaos from Bungay High School for effective communication skills, Four2Five from East Bergholt High for use of information and computer technology, and Diverse, from King Edward VI Upper, for most exports.

A spokesman for the Young Enterprise Company Programme said: “The judges, a panel of independent representatives from education, business and the media, commended all the students on the ingenuity, enthusiasm and effort they had shown in developing their businesses despite many now being involved in exam preparation.”

The programme, which enables students to set up and run their own business over the course of the academic year, saw 23 businesses from 19 high schools set up their own board of directors, raise share capital, develop their own product and services and take them to market place, and provide real-life experience in the classroom.

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