Thornhill entrepreneurs come out on top at awards in Belfast

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A group of students from Thornhill College who created an innovative business earlier this year, have been recognised for their work at a national ceremony.

The Thornhill girls joined more than 500 budding entrepreneurs, who set up businesses with Young Enterprise this year, to mark their achievements at ‘The Big Celebration ’18.

Young entrepreneurs from across the North gathered at the landmark Titanic Belfast recently, as the charity showcased their work to nurture the next generation of business leaders.

The students participated in hands-on workshops focused on sharpening the skills they have developed through the Young Enterprise Company and Team programmes in order to best prepare them for the world of work and business start-up.

The event concluded with the much anticipated annual awards ceremony to announce the regional winners of the competition.

Thornhill College came out on top with their company The Pink Elephant, creating handmade foam flower mini arrangements that are scented with an essential oil.

The essential oils are selected by the customer to help with anxiety, to boost moods or to help trigger memories.

The Pink Elephant is a social enterprise with the aim to provide a product which has a positive impact on the community and to also raise awareness for dementia.

The students will now go on to compete against five other regional winners for the ‘Young Enterprise Company of the Year’ award at the prestigious black tie ‘NI Final’ event at Belfast City Hall in June.

The overall winner will then go forward to the young enterprise UK innovation awards in London in July.

Speaking at the event, Sharon Polson from the Department for Communities said: “DFC were delighted to sponsor the social innovation awards at this year’s YENI competition.

“What a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of the potential to impact on real social challenges with our entrepreneurs of the future.

“Well done to all of the students involved who displayed such a high calibre of work.”

Young Enterprise Chief Executive Carol Fitzsimons MBE said: “We set these young people a challenge back in September to start up a business, and since then we’ve seen some extraordinary ideas and innovative companies.

“At The Big Celebration 18, we revealed the top businesses and individuals who have particularly excelled throughout their time working with us.

“These young people exemplify the entrepreneurial potential that we have here in Northern Ireland.”

Get your school involved in a Young Enterprise Programme today.

Visit yeni.co.uk or call on 028 9032 7003.

Young Enterprise Northern Ireland is supported by the Department of Education.