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Inspired students win Nationwide Challenge

A team of St Ninian’s High School students who made and sold reusable shopping bags featuring corporate logos won this year’s Irish Nationwide Enterprise Challenge.

The team of six students, who called their ‘company’ Inspire, made eco-friendly bags and sold them to companies and schools making a profit of more than £400.

Team leader Philip Bradley, 16, said the Enterprise Challenge had taught him and his team mates about working together and about the practical challenges of being in business.

The Enterprise Challenge involves teams of pupils at St Ninian’s in Douglas, being given £200 by Irish Nationwide to use as seed capital to set up their own enterprises.

Pupils can share any profit they make over and above the seed capital which is returned to the central fund donated to the school by Irish Nationwide. If teams make a loss it is absorbed by the scheme’s central fund.

Carlton Freegard, Irish Nationwide senior executive, attended the final judging day and said he was delighted to see how much hard work all the teams had put into their projects.

Mr Freegard presented a cheque for £500 to Tony Roberts, subject leader of business education at St Ninian’s High School, which will be used to top-up the Enterprise Challenge’s seed capital fund.

Mr Roberts said the Irish Nationwide Enterprise Challenge was a fantastic learning experience for students at the school. ‘What is most pleasing is how motivated the students are and the fun they have during the scheme,’ he said. ‘The support we get from Irish Nationwide cannot be underestimated and 160 students have now taken part in the programme over the past two years.’

Three more teams made it to the final judging day. Second place went to the Supernova team which made and sold engraved drinking glasses and also sold glow sticks at a school disco. In equal third were the Second Glance and Go Logic teams. Second Glance made personalised drinking glasses and mugs and Go Logic made coasters engraved with corporate logos. All of the teams made a profit.

Teachers monitored the projects set up by the teams and students taking part in the Enterprise Challenge received advice from David Roberts of Irish Nationwide, Tony Honour of Chrystals Estate Agents and from Manx Telecom experts Mike Loundes and Allan Bashforth.

The judging panel for the Enterprise Challenge were Robbie Greenwood and Voirrey Barron, of Manx Telecom; Francis Thoday, of Magnus; and Martin Blackburn, emergency planning officer at the Department of Home Affairs.

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