Young Scottish Entrepreneurs compete for Festival of Youth Enterprise Championship Fortrose Academy Project Venture won overall award plus four others

By June 6, 2019

Teams of young entrepreneurs from sixteen schools across Scotland travelled to Edinburgh to take part in the final of a competition to discover the next generation of enterprising young people.

The Festival of Youth Enterprise Championship 2019 was won by a team from Fortrose Academy whose entrepreneurial Venture impressed the judges by their work to develop and produce a range of products to use with people living with dementia, together with the partnerships they formed within their community and beyond to ensure their products can reach those who could benefit from them.

Venture’s “Past Times” conversation board game assists people from different generations to spark memories, learn from each other and talk. The team also developed a “dementia mitt” designed to help people living with dementia and a ‘Knit your own Mitt Kit’.

Not only did Venture win the overall Can Do Scotland Company of the Year Award, they came away with four other awards.

These were: SIS Social Impact Award, SQA Link Teacher of the Year Award which was won by Margaret Rhynas from Fortrose Academy, Accenture Digital Presence Award and Fin Davidson, one of the pupils on the Venture team won the City of Glasgow College Journey Award.

Matthew Parkes, Managing Director of the social enterprise set up by the team of sixth year pupils from the Black Isle Academy said:

“Winning the individual awards was amazing for us and then we were overjoyed to discover we had won the overall national award for Scotland.”

Venture will now go to London on 17 June to compete in the UK final which we are very excited about”.

Details of the Fortrose Academy Venture project can be found on the team’s website;

The competition is one of the biggest highlights of the year for Young Enterprise Scotland with finalists from as far north as Orkney and the Shetland Islands to as far south as Dumfries and Galloway.

Set up in 1992, Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) supports around 15,000 young people each year, helping them develop their business knowledge and entrepreneurial skills.  By advocating and adopting a ‘learning by doing’ approach and delivering tailored accredited training programmes, YES helps young people to become more employable and ultimately job ready.

Area heats took place throughout the year to identify winning teams from across the Scottish regions who set up and ran their own business. The finalists attended the all-day event at Edinburgh Corn Exchange where they set up their market stalls and gave the judges a presentation of what they had achieved by showing their entrepreneurial spirit.

Geoff Leask, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise Scotland, said:

“As the leading enterprise engagement organisation for young people in Scotland we work throughout the year to inspire and equip young people to learn and succeed through enterprise through our broad range of programmes. Yesterday’s event is an opportunity to celebrate some of the great achievements by young people, their educators and our volunteers. I congratulate all who participated and wish the Fortrose Academy winning team Venture all he very best for the UK competition in London later this month.

“I would like to thank all our sponsors and supporters who have generously backed us not just tonight but throughout the last year without whose support we could not achieve the results we deliver. I pay tribute to our 500 plus volunteers in all parts of the country and who give generously of their time to ensure that Scotland becomes a place where all young people are given the opportunity to have a rewarding future in work and life – no matter where they start their journey”.

Many of the entrepreneurial businesses focused on environmental issues, sustainability and reduction of use of plastics, while others created products showcasing their local environment and recycling and upcycling products.

The judges for the finals were Marie Murphy (Ernst & Young), Andrew Coventry (Lyreco), Hugh Lightbody,(Business Gateway), Nicola Crawford (Developing the Young Workforce) and Leona Seaton (Developing the Young Workforce).

The Finalists

Whisk & Spoon
Lochend Community High School, Glasgow
Our ‘Meals for Minis’ cookbook is bright, colourful and easy to follow and our ‘Whisk & Spoon Cooking Kit’ encourages young people to get involved in preparing their own food.

On The Go
Mearns Castle High School, Newton Mearns
On the Go are passionate about environmental issues, therefore in order to help combat the issue of single-use plastic, their product was a variety of stainless steel water bottles that keep drinks hot or cold over time.

Bannockburn High School, Stirling
We are a Stirling based Young Enterprise group selling homemade and creative products that reflect our company values.

The Green Bean Co.
Grove Academy, Dundee
Our products aim to educate consumers about the sustainable ways in which we can all help to reduce wastage and we hope we can inspire individuals to carry out these habits in their daily lives.

Caldervale High School, Airdrie
Our company’s focus is Scottish designed Home decorations with an underlying theme of Tartan.

Lochside Academy, Aberdeen
Uni-Tee promotes positivity, love, acceptance, and unity through the means of fashion. Our products are mainly t-shirts which we upcycle from charity shops or from donations that would otherwise be thrown away

Kirkwall Grammar School, Orkney
Created Standing Stone wooden clocks made from recycled pallet wood, inspired by Orcadian heritage.

Wicks’ n’ Wax
Linlithgow Academy
Reinvented unwanted old candles by melting them down and turning them into new fresh scented candles.

Dumfries High School
The Idiom Family have created, developed and grown the popular ’Bonnie the Beltie’ brand to create a unique children’s book aimed at promoting the diverse culture and tourism industry of Dumfries & Galloway

Solas Candle Company
The Nicholson Institute, Stornoway
Solas Candle Company is run by three individuals from the Nicolson Institute, Lauren Murray, Alyth Smith and Sandy Morrison, selling bespoke handmade candles in teacups to add a touch of charm to their products

Brae High School, Shetland
Created aluminium water bottles to help encourage consumers to be aware of how a reduction in plastic use could have a positive effect in Shetland and globally.

Fortrose Academy
Developed and produced a range of products: Dementia Mitt, Knit Your Own Mitt Kit and our innovative Past Times game; we have formed partnerships within our community and beyond to ensure our products can reach those who could benefit from its use.

Waxy Words
Vale of Leven Academy
Our mission statement is “To inspire children’s creativity through the use of our desirable and sustainable personalised crayons”.

Lochgilphead Joint Campus
At Gulp we sell reusable water bottles. We aim to reduce the amount of single-use plastic; encourage the public to hydrate themselves and provide a quality product at an affordable price

Tartan Treasures
Auchmuty High School, Glenrothes
Tartan Treasure’s vision was to “Turn Scottish houses into Scottish homes” by creating tartan wall art with Scottish themed wooden shapes.

St Matthew’s Academy, Saltcoats
Protecting UR Environment, consists of 20 people. Our product is a reusable, personalised water bottle, emblazoned with the logo of our school that we believe is helping to achieve our mission which is to reduce the amount of plastic waste we produce as a school.

Photo captions:

Front Row, winners of the Can Do Scotland Company of the Year Award, “Venture” from Fortrose Academy, Highlands & Moray.
L to R, Eilidh Macphee, Tamzin Mackenzie, Fin Davidson, Geoff Leask (Chief Executive, Young Enterprise Scotland), Matthew Parkes,  Andrew Orr, Aneek Goldie and Ellie Mann.

Winners of the Can Do Scotland Company of the Year Award, “Venture” from Fortrose Academy, Highlands & Moray.
L to R, Ellie Mann, Andrew Orr, Eilidh Macphee, Aneek Goldie, Matthew Parkes, Tamzin Mackenzie and Fin Davidson.

Winners of the Can Do Scotland Company of the Year Award, “Venture” from Fortrose Academy, Highlands & Moray.
Standing L to R, Andrew Orr, Fin Davidson, Matthew Parkes.
Sitting L to R, Michael Macpherson, Ellie Mann, Aneek Goldie, Tamzin Mackenzie, Eilidh Macphee.