The five surviving companies of the 2014/15 South Downs Young Enterprise scheme pitched their companies to judges at Worthing Assembly Hall, battling to reach the next round of the annual competition.
The extra-curricular school initiative sees students launch and run their own company, with Davison High School for Girls, Our Lady of Sion and Lancing College taking part this year.
Addressing entrants and their families at the event, South Downs chairman Pam James said: “Young Enterprise in the business world really gives you the skill set that you will carry with you throughout your careers.”
The companies sold a variety of products, from bespoke jewellery to custom candles and a photo booth service.
Mythica, from Davison, in Selborne Road, Worthing, scooped the best overall company, while a special award was given to Samira Azir, also from Davison, for young achiever of the year.
Writing in their end-of-year report, Mythica’s students said: “Our products were branded by the people who sold them and our team had a very distinctive look, which separated us from the other teams and made us stand out.
“Our look was dark, with a majority of our team wearing black, so we looked punk.
“This became what we were known for, as was our jewellery. It also allowed us to give our jewellery a style for our marketing ‘punk-rock jewellery.”
Guest speaker on the night was Amy Stevens, brand manager for Higgidy, a pie-manufacturer from Shoreham, who gave a stimulating and encouraging message to students about the importance of knowing and using personal strengths to achieve happiness and business success. She was also one of the judges.
Worthing mayor Vic Walker was in attendance.
Three companies; Mythica, Candles Couture and Affinity - all from Davison, advanced to the next round of the competition.
Editor’s note: The original version of the story omitted Affinity advancing to the next round. We apologise for the error and are happy to correct it.