Pupils from three schools showcased their business ideas to shoppers at intu Metrocentre, thanks to Young Enterprise North East.
Students from Kenton, New College Durham and Whitburn schools, had the opportunity to design, manufacture and trade a product or service with the aid of local business volunteers.
The event marked the launch of Young Enterprise North East’s first company, team and start-up programme at the Metrocentre, Gateshead, aimed at schools taking part in student businesses in the academic year.
Kenton School team with its business concept, Occasion Angels, was crowned the winner by marketing manager at the Metrocentre, Helen Atkinson.
Helen, said: “All three business ideas were excellent but Occasion Angels really stood out. Producing hampers for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day as well as offering cinema packs, this is a concept we felt would appeal to the marketplace. The ability to adapt the products throughout the year to suit the occasion, demonstrated a high level of innovation and flexibility.
“I was delighted to be a judge having taken part in a Young Enterprise programme myself when I was at school and it was brilliant to see the enthusiasm and thought that had gone into the three business models. All three schools are to be commended.”
Following the company, team and start-up event at the Metrocentre, schools have the opportunity to take part in area showcase events and competitions from April onwards.
Young Enterprise, which has strong roots across the region, is a national charity with a mission that every young person is provided with the opportunity to learn the vital skills needed to earn and look after their money, to develop an enterprising mindset and make a positive contribution to their communities and wider society.
Each year it works with 315,000 pupils and trains 3,200 teachers in both enterprise and financial education, with the help of more than 6,000 volunteers and 3,500 businesses.
Jill Tinsley, Young Enterprise regional manager North East, Yorkshire and Humber, said: “The trade fair at the Metrocentre was very well received and it was fantastic to see the ideas and talent from the students.
“The programmes provide the best business education in schools, colleges and universities from across our region. Such events enable entrepreneurial talent to flourish within a challenging and stimulating environment and helps equip students with the skills they need.”