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Enterprising Students Grow their own Success at Regional Finals


May 16, 2017

SIX enterprising students passionate about sustainability have beaten off stiff competition from over 200 undergraduates to be named Best Overall Business at the Young Enterprise North East Regional Start Up Finals.

My Urban Garden, the brainchild of six Northumbria University students with a skill for growing produce, competed against Coffee Cleanse and Woodcut and Co in the regional finals, which was sponsored by North East accountancy firm Tait Walker.

The undergraduates participated in the Young Enterprise scheme, which encourages young people to set up and run their own businesses for a year, with the help of business mentors and industry-led skills workshops.

As part of the regional finals held at The Northern Design Centre, the third-year students were interviewed by a panel of judges including representatives from Tait Walker, Durham Business Group, Serco and SME Cal Partners, before presenting their business ideas to the panel.

My Urban Garden, which offers city dwellers with limited, or no, garden space the opportunity to grow their own produce, took home three awards in total – Best Overall Business, Best Proposal and Best Trade Stall.

Robyn Wynn, My Urban Garden’s administration director, said: “The Young Enterprise Regionals gave us a fantastic opportunity to pitch our business to the judges – not only for the experience, but also due to the brilliant feedback we received from these professionals.

“We couldn’t believe it when it was announced that we had won the Best Overall Business, especially after receiving the awards for Best Proposal and Best Trade Stall. It has really given us confidence in our business and proved we have a viable product that could make a difference.

“The Young Enterprise programme has been a very enlightening experience to all of us in My Urban Garden. As a student, it can be scary to think about what we will do after graduation, but this programme has made us feel more confident and prepared to enter the world of business, whether we choose to start-up our own business or not.”

Following its success at the regional finals, My Urban Garden will now attend the Young Enterprise National Finals in Liverpool later this month and, if successful, will have the opportunity to progress to the European Finals.

Kerry Tipple, North East area manager at Young Enterprise, said: “The Start Up programme grows year-on-year, as we see North East students keen to network and be mentored by key employers. Students tell Young Enterprise that the opportunity to set up their own business develops their employability skills and resilience, improving their job prospects.”

Tait Walker’s Graham Dotchin added: “Young Enterprise is a fantastic charity which every year gives hundreds of young people in the region the opportunity to realise the extent of their own talents.

“By empowering young people to harness their personal and business skills, Young Enterprise is making the connection between school and the world of work and enabling young people to develop the knowledge and attitudes they need to succeed as the North East’s business leaders of tomorrow.

“We were extremely proud to be able to support the 2017 Start Up Regional Finals. Congratulations to My Urban Garden and we’d like to wish them every success at the national finals.”

Young Enterprise is the UK’s leading enterprise and financial education charity, empowering young people to learn, to work and to live. Established in 1962 it believes that the potential of the UK’s young people is unlimited. Each year Young Enterprise works with 250,000 young people aged from four-years-old to 25, making the foundations of business – resilience, team work, creativity, problem solving and communication – relevant to the daily lives of each and every young person.

By Emily