Young Enterprise West Berkshire

Young Enterprise West Berkshire£930 was awarded to Young Enterprise West Berkshire to finance the 2009 final awards ceremony, known as the Area Cup.

Young Enterprise is a national charity that promotes entrepreneurial skills in 17 year olds by helping them form a real company, design a product, produce it and sell it, all within a short 8 month period. Each team is mentored by an advisor recruited from local business who helps them gain first hand experience of the skills required to run their own company, learning from the mistakes and building on the successes.

'Viva' from Downe House School, Thatcham, was celebrating after impressing the judges and beating six other student companies to scoop the top prize and become the Berkshire Young Enterprise Company Programme Winners 2009.

Competing against teams from schools across Berkshire, 'Viva' took the top spot with their unusual laptop cases and hand drawn tea towels. Lucy Wallace, joint MD of 'Viva' commented: "Young Enterprise has been a perfect opportunity to experience the real world of business and for developing life skills, especially in leadership. We're absolutely thrilled to have won today."

The evening was held at Baylis House Hotel, Slough and judges included: David King (Company Secretary, Honda Motor Europe Ltd), Barry Lewis (MD, CADline Ltd, Institute of Directors), Chris Wilson (Partner, Wilson Partners, Chartered Accountant) and Richard Reger (ICSA Member.)

Throughout the school year hundreds of students from schools throughout Berkshire took part in Young Enterprise, creating companies, producing and selling goods and learning valuable business experience along the way.

Nick James, Entrepreneur and Young Enterprise supporter, was the compère for the evening and Dr Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, treated the audience to an inspirational speech on the rewards of enterprise and the entrepreneurial mindset.

Jenny Scully, Young Enterprise Development Manager, said: “tonight we've seen seven teams of winners from the Young Enterprise area heats come together to show the best of Berkshire student business. As ever, everyone present has been hugely impressed by the clarity of the presentations and the students' commitment to their companies.”

Nick James said: “"over the past year more than 700 students from across Berkshire have participated in Young Enterprise and gained invaluable hands-on business experience. Their enthusiasm for entrepreneurship is wonderful to see - it makes me proud to witness the rise of the next generation of Berkshire entrepreneurs.”

Jo Henley, HR said: “We have learnt the value and importance of communication, organisation and teamwork. We are obviously extremely happy to have won and are looking forward to representing Berkshire in June.”