A team of young entrepreneurs are the pride of North Yorkshire after winning the county round of a national competition with their eco insect house business.
Success keeps on coming for Team Revelation, from Ripon Grammar School, who are finding stockists, winning endorsements and generating more income for their Bee Hotel product.
They have also been on the road sharing their environmental message with children at Sharow Primary School, near Ripon, and selling out at Newby Hall Spring Plant Fair.
It is all adding to the experience they can share with judges when they compete against the best Young Enterprise Challenge teams in Yorkshire at the regional round in Scunthorpe on June 9, the winner of which goes to the national final in London.
As well as winning the overall North Yorkshire title against a number of independent schools, they were also recognised for the Best Presentation and the Best Financial Management at the county final, held at the Merchant Venturers Hall, in York.
Managing director Will Stobbs, 17, said: “In the last round one judge came to each team, but this time all five judges came and asked us about our business, what our different roles were, our finances and any problems we’d encountered. It was quite tough.”
Explaining how they had developed the business since the Harrogate district round, marketing manager Immie Bligh said: “We completely redesigned our stand, doubling the height of our display boards, adding a table with a hand-sewn cover and introducing baskets so it looked more professional and reflected the product better.
“We really want to win the national competition now. We think the environmental and educational elements are appealing to the judges. We’ve got loads of different ideas to improve still further,” added Immie.
With revenues topping £1,500, they had help from the school’s new bursar Angela Pybus as well as the continued support of their business mentor Richard Canham, of VocaLink.
The product, which was the idea of Will and Patrick Moon, provides a natural habitat for bees. It has been endorsed by Harrogate District Biodiversity Group and is being stocked by Ripon Walled Garden.
Will, Immie, Patrick and the rest of the team – Ben Wayne, Oscar Way, Lydia Pool, Grace Eyles, Mate Pocs, Roscoe Savage, Harry Whitworth, Oliver Craddock and Oliver Simenacz – hand-make the Bee Hotels themselves while studying for their AS level exams. They have also published an accompanying puzzle book for children, ‘The Bees’ Knees’.
Business teacher at Ripon Grammar School Bob Walker said: “They have done a fantastic job, meeting every deadline and constantly developing the business so it’s been a great learning experience for them.
“Only real commitment gets you this far. Patrick has an exam on the morning of the regional final and his dad his driving him over to Scunthorpe afterwards so he can be there, which is an example of how committed they are.
“This is the second year in a row we’ve had a team make the Yorkshire regional final and we’ve got everything crossed that we get to the national final this year.”
The Bee Hotels and the book are available to buy from the company’s website at www.teamrevelation.jimdo.com