Sewell Park College students stage trade fair

Pupils transformed their Norwich school hall into a bustling trade fair today as they sought to turn a profit from a range of business ideas.

The event, at Sewell Park College at St Clements Hill, was taking place for the second year.

Back in September, pupils in years seven to 13 were asked to come up with ideas for a company and have it up and running in time for today's trade fair.

Using funds raised by selling shares in their enterprise to friends, family, and anyone else willing, they bought stock and materials. The businesses ranged from home-made jewellery, gift bags, Christmas cards and printed t-shirts to a car wash, nail bar and hand massage stand.

Jackie Bircham, head of business, said: 'Some have decided to sell hand-made things. One group got little logs which they sliced in half and turned into candle holders. Others have bought stock which they are selling at a profit.'

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About 120 pupils took part with some of them using the experience as part of their BTEC business courses. As well as selling to their fellow students, parents, carers and members of the public were invited in.

At the 2011 trade fair, students made profits totalling �1,500.

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Mrs Bircham said: 'The kids choose what to do with the money. We want them to make money and feel the benefit of it. They can keep the money if they want to although we encourage them to make a donation to charity to some extent. Last year some invested the money to grow their business and came back again this year. There's a few here saying they will be back next year, too.'

During the day, a panel of judges worked their way around the room assessing the youngsters' selling skills and asking them questions about the business.

They awarded the best sales person, the best stand, the most enterprising team and more enterprising product.

Among the judges was John Jennings, Sheriff of Norwich.

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