Young Enterprise Awards Norfolk…

This week I was very privileged to be asked to judge the Norfolk area Young Enterprise awards at The Open Venue in Norwich… and what an amazing day it was.

A few days previously I’d received a large bundle of ‘Company Reports‘ to go through. There were 15 in total (a record number of entries for the event I later heard), and with products ranging from logo’d USB’s to ECO friendly housewares, to gifts, wristbands, and healthy meal planners, there was a lot to go through!

On the day I arrived at 12.30pm where I met the other judges and we started marking the reports. We soon got way behind (they only had 9 last year) and were only half way through when we were called out to interview all the teams.

What a lovely bunch of young people they were! Enthusiastic, passionate, articulate, and a whole host of other superlatives that would make their parents proud. When you actually spoke to them you soon became aware that in most cases the Company Reports didn’t do them justice at all (after all what entrepreneur can really get excited about writing reports?)

Then we went back for more marking, before it was time for the presentations.

I was totally blown away by the public speaking skills of so many of the 16 and 17 year old team members. I knew for sure that I wouldn’t have been able to do what they were doing at that age. They were engaging and entertaining,  amusing and witty, and, very importantly, on time! One team in particular gave an amazing presentation with no notes or prompts at all, showing they’d spent a lot of time honing their skills, and this coupled with their very well presented Company Report meant they won the award for the best communication.

Then my colleague, professional speaker and ex-footballer Paul McVeigh went on to do his bit, and we went off to finish our judging.

With seconds to spare we came up with a winner in team Pulse, so congrats to them and best of luck as they go off to represent Norfolk at the finals. Special mentions also go to award winning teams dECOr, Dynamis, Bass Clef, Be…, Key Ideas, and Crimson.

It was a long, tough day, and way more difficult than I’d imagined it would be when I was asked to be a judge. Would I do it again? YES PLEASE!!!

It was one of the most enjoyable days I’ve had, and seeing the entrepreneurs of the future coming up with ideas, solving problems, contributing, and making money, gives me a lot of hope for the region, the UK, and the World in general.

I’m not one for wishing my life away, but I can’t wait for next year! 🙂

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  1. Steve Moseley
    4 years ago

    Some great points here Mark. Attention all business advisers and link teachers – what do we need to do to make sure the reports do the companies justice?!

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