Young entrepreneurs from Newquay Tretherras school have won the first ever national award for Sustainability at the Young Enterprise Company of the Year Awards sponsored by HSBC UK, who have been supporting the programme for over 35 years. As a joint ongoing commitment to improvement, the 2018/19 academic year saw Young Enterprise (YE) and HSBC UK launching a new sustainable approach to creating a YE company.
Sustainability means building a business for the long term by balancing social, environmental and economic considerations in the decisions made. The number of YE companies creating sustainable products has more than doubled in the year since the award was introduced, and YE will continue to support young people to think about the environmental consequences of their businesses.
The winning team, Seal Newquay, have created and sold repurposed products such as bottle cosies, pencil cases, whiteboard rubbers, laptop bags and bookbags. The entries were judged by James Hewitson, Head of Wealth and Advice, HSBC UK who was highly impressed with Seal Newquay’s commitment to reducing the horrific amount of greenhouse gasses clogging up the world’s atmosphere by repurposing donated wetsuit materials.
The final, held at County Hall, London, on 18th June, celebrated the top 14 student companies set up and run over one academic year as part of the Young Enterprise Company Programme. Young Enterprise is a national charity which works to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in the changing world of work. This year, students across the country have set up almost 1,000 companies over the academic year, making all the decisions about their business, from deciding the company name and product, to creating a business plan, managing their finances and selling their products.
Young Enterprise research shows Company Programme participants develop key employability skills and a longitudinal study of Company Programme alumni has shown that in the two years following the programme, 94% are in education, employment or training [EET] – 5% higher than the national rate.
Michaela Wright, Head of Corporate Sustainability for HSBC UK said: “For me sustainability sits at the heart of doing business the right way, benefiting individuals, communities and society. This award is an exciting way for young entrepreneurs to explore how their bright ideas can make a profound difference.
We recognise that economic growth must be sustainable, and HSBC UK has taken genuine strides forward to change our own approach to business. Supporting the Company Programme to include a sustainability award through Instagram enables ideas to be shared and explored across the world, highlighting the relevance that young people place on the future.”
Michael Mercieca, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, said “I’d like to congratulate the students from Seal Newquay for winning The HSBC UK Sustainability Award. The award has been generously supported by HSBC UK who, like Young Enterprise, firmly believe developing sustainable approaches to business is essential to the future of the economy, and the world.”