Young Enterprise Area Finals 2017

The Royal Agricultural University played host again this year to the Young Enterprise Area Finals 2017 on Tuesday 2nd May, when 11 YE teams from across Gloucestershire, including 3 from Cirencester competed for the coveted spot in the Regional Finals, which Cirencester won in 2012.

Hopes were very high after the college finished second overall for the last 2 years. After setting up their trade stands the students were grilled by 2 sets of judges – some who had met them before at the Trade Exhibition in March and some who were meeting them for the first time. After this stage came the presentations. The Cotswold Reclaimers were up first (always a hard thing to do to a room of over 100 people) and gave a very good and thorough presentation about their business, their highs and their lows as well as their impressive profits in excess of £1600. TCR use reclaimed pallets to produce furniture and home items by hand, all their own designs and manufacture. They have the vision of setting an example to the younger generation regarding recycling, upcycling and sustainability.

Stop a Spill followed with a witty but honest presentation, they have developed an un-spillable cup holder. Using 3D printing the team have worked hard to refine their design and the use of recycled neoprene as an insulator enabled them to keep costs to a minimum.  

The final group presented the Ultimate Drive Guide. Their product is an app, fully designed and manufactured by themselves and available on both Android and iOS platforms, to assist new drivers when they first pass their test in case of an emergency or a breakdown. Their presentation was clear and well-articulated.

After a nervous half hour wait, and what sounds like a very tough decision making process the results were in. As ever the Cirencester College teams had done us proud picking up the following awards:

Social, Ethical and Environmental Award – Winners: The Cotswold Reclaimers

Best Product or Service Development Award – Winners: Ultimate Drive Guide

Sales, Marketing and Customer Focus – Winners: The Cotswold Reclaimers

Teamwork Award – Runners up Ultimate Drive Guide

Presentation Award – 3rd place: Ultimate Drive Guide

Best Trade Stand Award – Runners Up: The Cotswold Reclaimers

Lastly at the close, Ultimate Drive Guide were awarded 2nd place overall and The Cotswold Reclaimers picked up 3rd place overall, equalling last year’s performances.

Hannah Ash, link teacher for Youth Enterprise said, “The college teams performed very well which was a testament to their hard work and commitment.  I have been so impressed by the students’ innovation and ability to adapt and learn new skills again this year. I feel as a college we are incredibly good at allowing students to harness their creativity and year on year we are pushing the boundaries of YE with new and exciting businesses that go far beyond the traditional YE models.”

Charlotte Dalziel, MD of Ultimate Drive Guide had this to say after the event “at times the process has been hard work, we lost key team members mid-way through and because we designed and built the app from scratch ourselves we had less time to devote to the report writing element than we would have liked. However the experience has been invaluable and we are all very glad we took part. None of us knew each other before we started and we are now looking to take the next step to turn this into a real business together which is an amazing feeling”.

Hannah added, “This is not the only success that the college has had this year with Enterprise. In March we organised, as part of the E4 group and in conjunction with Cirencester Town Council, the second annual Cirencester Youth Market. The Cotswold Reclaimers have also been awarded the prize for Innovation at the Gloucestershire Business Show which we will pick up in May after a day of networking at the show. This will be followed by them pitching to the room of potential investors and the Investors Dinner also in May. It has actually been an incredible year for the Cotswold Reclaimers as it does not end there. They are finalists in the Cirencester Chamber of Commerce Awards also taking place in May and have been honoured with a stall at the Three Counties Show in June. A true reflection of the quality of their business offering and the maturity and growth of the team.”

This has been another incredible year for Enterprise at Cirencester College. For more information please contact me on hannah.ash@cirencester.ac.uk.