YE Company Programme Cornwall’s budding young business minds will converge on the Eden Project on Saturday 19th March to show off and sell their carefully crafted products at the Young Enterprise Spring Trade Fair.

Thirteen teams from ten of the county’s secondary schools and colleges have been working for months to set up small businesses and prepare merchandise to sell and to impress the Young Enterprise judging panel.

Taking part are Richard Lander, Penrice Academy, Fowey Academy, Newquay Tretherras,

Treviglas College, Truro College, Truro School, Truro High School, Cape Cornwall and Humphry Davy. The goods they have created include seaweed plant food, dog coats, jewellery, a Cornish themed card game, products made from recycled wet suits and one-wash soaps. Each team will have a stall in the entrance to the Eden Project and will trade from 10am until 4pm.

The companies will be judged in nine areas of business from the quality of the product and customer service to social responsibility and publicity.

The Young Enterprise Scheme is aimed at young people aged 15-19 and runs throughout one academic year, enabling participants to find out what it’s really like to set up and run a business. The teams make all the decisions about their company, from deciding on the company name and product to creating a business plan, managing the company finances and selling to the public at trade fairs. All this takes place with the support of a volunteer business adviser who provides business knowledge and expertise.

This is the penultimate event before the county final – the Cornwall Innovation Awards – at the end of April, when the overall winner will be announced. That winning team will represent Cornwall at the South West Regional Finals in Poole, Dorset, in June.

Sam Wardman, Young Enterprise Manager for Cornwall, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for students to develop the knowledge and attitudes they need to succeed in every day life, further education or training and business. During the year you see each individual taking part grow and develop. They come away with greater confidence, improved communication and problem solving skills, better teamwork capabilities and new aspirations for the future.”