This school year I have been lucky enough to be one of the sixteen girls in the schools Young Enterprise Company. Our company designed and sold our own book teaching children how to tie their shoelaces in a fun and interactive way. Our company was called Addo and although we did not manage to progress further in the competition as a company it was a worthwhile experience as not only did I build on employment skills such as teamwork, communication skills and problem solving skills. I also managed to progress further in the competition alone and win the accolade of Entrepreneur of the Future for Northern Ireland.
The process started by filling in an application form explaining my own ideas of running a business and what I have learnt from the company programme. I was then selected to attend an interview where I was assessed on entrepreneurial skills and qualities, contribution to my own company and ideas for running my own business by the panel of three judges. I shared my aspirations of becoming a fashion designer and setting up my own design house with the judges and how I hope to have my own name as a household brand one day like designers such as Julien MacDonald and Vivienne Westwood. To my shock I was announced as the South East Area winner on the 26th March at the Celebrate Success Awards in the Titanic Belfast hosted by UTV’s Marc Mallett.
I then went on to compete against five other girls from schools across Northern Ireland attending an interview in the headquarters of Invest NI. This interview was more competitive as I was questioned on the categories in my previous interview as well as entrepreneurial activities outside the company programme and what motivates me by a different panel of three successful businessmen and women: Cary Wilson, a transactions advisory services partner from Ernst and Young; Dr Joanne Stuart OBE, Director of Development in NI Science Park and Stephen Sproule, Director of Gaffer NI Ltd. I was then able to attend the Young Enterprise Northern Ireland Awards in the City Hall hosted by Cool FM’s Pete Snodden on the 7th May 2015.The awards celebrated the elite of Northern Irelands Young Entrepreneurs and I was lucky enough to win overall. It was a great night with entertainment from Belfast Community Gospel Choir and speaker Digital Marketing director Jill Robb.
I now have the once in a life time opportunity to represent Northern Ireland at the annual Next Generation Leaders forum in Canada from 10th – 14th August 2015. This event takes place in Trent University, Petersborough, Ontario and brings together the elite of Young Entrepreneurs from all over the world to meet with industry professionals and work on live projects to build in confidence and develop key employment and business skills.
This whole process throughout the past year has been one of the best experiences of my life. Starting out I entered to gain interview experience not even expecting to make it past the first stage in the process. Not only has the process given me vital interview experience coming up to university applications but it has also given me confidence in myself and my business idea that I can succeed as an Entrepreneur in the Future.
Emilie Vose, Year 13