‘The Apprentice’ East Sussex style


Would-be young entrepreneurs are being invited to take part in an annual inter-college competition developed by an Uckfield marketing firm.

The number of colleges involved in the annual Young Business Minds - now in its third year - has grown from four in 2011 to six last year - Uckfield, Uplands (Wadhurst,) Beacon (Crowborough,) Heathfield and Ringmer community colleges and Steyning Grammar School.

Now organisers The Marketing Eye are hoping even more will take part in the competition aimed at giving young people a valuable insight into the world of business.

Managing Director Neil Edwards said: “We’d love to throw the net wider this year and have set a goal of involving 10 colleges in Young Business Minds™ 2013.

“The competition has won great support from the students taking part and their teachers. It emphasises the talent and enterprise that exists in young people and I believe those of us in business have a responsibility to educate students in what running a business means as a career choice.”

Ringmer buiness studies teacher Collette Campbell-Gohil added: “Our students loved the experience of getting involved. It was good for them to speak to real business people and to be challenged by them.”

The competition was created to offer a fun and educational project for year 12 students during term after the AS level exams and before the start of their summer holidays.

Teachers say many students don’t focus well during this period, yet this project gives them a purpose and helps contribute to their CVs.

Students are divided into teams of four and work together to agree on a product or service idea which is then developed into a business plan during a two-week period.

The plan is documented into a written report and pitched to a panel of judges from local businesses and professional firms.

The 2012 Young Business Minds™ competition was won by a team from Ringmer Community College called ‘Hot & Cold’ – with an innovative idea based around hot ice cream.

Neil Edwards explained: “The Hot & Cold team impressed judges, not just with the innovative idea of hot ice cream, but with the impressive marketing and financial plans which accompanied it. The plan was so well developed it was ready to put in front of a bank or an investor - and that’s quite an achievement.”

To take part contact Abi Bayley from The Marketing Eye on: 01825 765617 or: abigail@themarketingeye.com