Berwickshire High School’s enterprising winners are clearly no mugs

Budding young business people had to adapt quickly for this year’s Young Enterprise Scotland Borders final, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Kevin McRoberts
Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 5:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 6:08 pm
Berwickshire High School’s Borders Mugs team were the winners of the Young Enterprise Scotland Borders final.
Berwickshire High School’s Borders Mugs team were the winners of the Young Enterprise Scotland Borders final.

The programme, which aims to help young people realise their potential and success in the world of business, was due to come to a completion at the grand finale, hosted at the Scottish Borders Campus on March 19.

However, following all of the students’ efforts, spanning the academic year, the event had to be postponed due to the national lockdown.

Judging of the programme’s six categories (Best Trade Stand, Best Report, Best 360 Feedback, Best Presentation, Best Digital Presence and Borders Company of the Year), was subsequently carried out remotely, with the winners announced via Facebook.

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Some of the winning team's products.

The judges were impressed with the diversity of the products offered by students from the five teams, representing Berwickshire High School and Earlston High School.

Items for sale included dog treats, succulent plants potted in recycled glass jars, luxury gingerbread houses and acrylic signs.

Top honours went to Berwickshire High School’s Borders Mugs. The team of Ben Reynolds, Harry Fuller, Carys Bruce, Rowan Harvey and Calvin Adeosun won Best 360 Feedback, Best Digital Presence, Best Presentation and Borders Company of the Year.

Earlston High’s GR02 team of Chloe Harper, Adam Wilson, Bailey Cavanagh, Carys Thomson, Solomon Hodgkinson, Layan Alaboudi and Archie Stewart won the Best Report category.

And Berwickshire High’s Treats & Troubles team of Nicholas Warnock, Daniel Logan, Olivia Taylor and Joana Gaspar took the honours for the Best Trade Stand.

Lead judge Alice Pringle, from programme sponsor TRICAPITAL angel investors, said: “Congratulations to all the teams. I was tremendously impressed by their ideas, products and teamwork.

“The amount the teams and individuals learnt through the process of developing an enterprise will be very valuable in their futures.”

Alice added: “I was particularly struck by the winning team’s clear plan of action and creation of sales opportunities.

“Their enthusiasm for their product literally sold it.

“It’s good to see the next generation of Borders business people are so switched on and know that the future is in good hands.”

The programme gives real working experience, with each student committing to a role within the company.

The undertaking of a role facilitates learning about the essence of enterprise and enhancing the student’s development of a wide range of skills such as problem-solving, communication and resilience – all of which are relevant to those in business today.

Chloe Purves, chair of the Young Enterprise Scotland local area team, said: “Over the last eight months S5 and S6 students involved in the programme have had the ultimate business experience.

“By far the most rewarding thing is seeing their confidence grow and their ideas come alive.”

It is hoped that, as we move out of lockdown, the winners of the Borders Company of the Year will have the opportunity to attend the national final, held in Edinburgh.

Ben Reynolds, of overall winner Border Mugs, whose product was a mug decorated with a word search that included many of the towns from across the region, said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed our experience in young enterprise and we have learned so many valuable lessons that help us going forward in all aspects of life.

“We collectively put a lot of work into this business and are extremely proud of what we have built.

“This has been an unforgettable journey, one which we are grateful for the opportunity to participate in.”