A team of enterprising Sixth Formers has scooped the prize for Best Product in the first trade fair they attended as part of this year’s Young Enterprise scheme. The 12 students, who set up ‘Hand Helpers’ originally were going to sell plastic grips to help shoppers carry multiple plastic bags. However, they decided to launch their business selling decorated, reusable canvas bags and they have proved so popular that the company is ordering more stock. The other Brooke Weston team taking part in the Company Programme is Bopple who are selling sweets in origami boxes.
Both teams comprise Year 12 students who opted to do the Young Enterprise strand of the IEC programme. They have to set up a team where each member is allocated a different organisational role, then make or buy a product for sale and attend trade fairs where awards are given in a range of categories. There are local and regional competitions and the best team from each heat of the competition will progress with the top teams attending the grand final in London.
The first trade fair was held in the arts centre at Stamford which was attended by our students and teams from other schools. Each was given a promotional stand and they had to sell as many of their products as possible. Both teams are being mentored by Anya Scoular who also took part in the scheme as a student. She said: ‘As it was the first trade fair both teams did well. Both teams displays needed a bit of work but they could see what they needed to do. It is still a bit of a learning curve but they all turned up really eager to sell.’
Megan Brown, managing director of Hand Helpers said: ‘It is a bit stressful at times and we are having to stay on after school to get things done and we still have a lot of improvements to make on the marketing side. The first thing I did was assigned them all roles, sometimes they change roles. I am really pleased with the bag sales as they have proved very popular.’
Mickey Wernick, managing director of Bopple said: ‘At the moment we are selling handmade origami boxes filled with sweets but we are selling them as multi-purpose. We also have a sideline product that we are testing which is a sweet holder made of plastic bottles, but that looks like a penguin but we have a back up plan so if that doesn’t work we have got the boxes. We looked at recyclable ideas because that was one of our selling points and we looked online so when we saw the penguins we thought that would probably sell for Christmas. We didn’t take it to the first trade fair because it wasn’t quite finished but we are going to test it at the second one. At the moment for the boxes we have normal sweets like lollipops and Haribo, but for Christmas we will do a chocolate option for adults so that we are covering all customer bases.'