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Young Enterprise team compete in national finals

Iris Books take on national competition!

Iris Books, Ridgewood’s leading Young Enterprise team, travelled to London last week to compete in the Young Enterprise Company of the Year Awards 2017. The team of Josh Cape, Maddi Fearn, George Burley, Alex Wren and Declan Clark had already beaten all the other schools in South Yorkshire, and went up against fourteen other regions which included Gibraltar, Northern Ireland and Scotland. They had secured financial support from Allotts Chartered Accountants and had spent the month in the run up to the competition marketing, selling and promoting their product fiercely ready for the London event. With their interactive book for children, Leon’s Cooking Adventure, the team had already shown their enterprise skills and creative flair, and they even sold another copy on the day – to Levi Roots, whose Reggae Reggae Sauce business first seen on Dragon’s Den has now made him his fortune!

The event, which was held at the British Film Institute, was a star-studded affair with BBC News presenter Steph McGovern and Britain’s most influential teenager in business, Ben Towers, amongst those who were present. The competitors also had the chance to meet Amber Atherton (businesswoman and star of Made in Chelsea) and Ben Bailey Smith (aka Doc Brown, a comedian and actor). Iris Books’ own Josh Cape was interviewed by Steph McGovern and the team featured on the BBC Breakfast News, explaining how they had coped with the 4.30am start to be ready for the event and why they believed so passionately in their product.

Of the fourteen finalists, Ridgewood were one of only two state schools represented, and they did themselves proud as they presented to an audience of over 500 people. Their company was widely praised for its ingenuity and its appeal to both young children and parents. Although they did not progress in the competition and gain the chance to represent the UK in Belgium, they had a fantastic experience and are by no means slowing down. Two of the team have already decided to set up Iris Books as a public limited company and plan to see just how far they can go.