A team of eight students from Inverurie Academy has won the Grampian Young Enterprise award and will be off on June 18 to the Scottish finals.
The Inverurie “Bottle-It” team were one of six north-east finalists who presented their companies’ products to “dragon’s den” judges at the Marcliffe Hotel in Pitfodels.
All the teams were faced with the challenge of starting a company, finding a product and selling it, with the winner the one who most impressed the VIP judges with their presentation on the night of the final dinner.
Josie Shaw from Bottle-It winners said their idea to make and sell drinking glasses and candle holders made from old bottles came from one of their team who had an old glass cutter in his garage at home.
After getting together to cut down the bottles, it became clear that it was going to be lots of hard work when two of the team dropped out.
Josie said: “In the end we all met up at my home to do the manufacturing.”
The 17-year-old was also on the company’s sales team and had to learn how to sell to the public at the events organised with YES.
“At first I used to be shy but gradually I got used to it and could enter into conversation with people.”
Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) is a charity that works to help young people make a positive transition into the world of work.
Grampian chairwoman Alena Fiddes said more than 30 secondary schools across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire took part in the competition, which takes place each year from August to April.
The students gather a team of 5-12 people, who work alongside a teacher and business advisor to create a company name, product and then work to make and sell it to the public.
The five other finalists were from St Machar Academy, the Albyn School and Academies from Westhill, Mackie and Inverurie.
The finals dinner had an amazing line-up of speakers, including local entrepreneur Jamie Hutcheon of Cocoa Ooze and perfume guru Jo Malone MBE. It was also the students’ last opportunity to sell their clever products to all attendees of the event.