Mmm... a great gift for Mother’s Day

Creative gifts for mums proved big sellers when enterprising youngsters set out their stalls in Norwich last weekend.

Creative gifts for mums proved big sellers when enterprising youngsters set out their stalls in Norwich last weekend.

Students from schools and colleges across Norfolk took part in a day-long trade fair at the Forum in a bid to tempt city shoppers with Mothering Sunday ideas and other colourful products.

The event was organised by Young Enterprise as part of the build-up to this year's EDP Young Enterprise Business Awards, allowing students to sell their wares and raise money for their YE companies.

Products for sale included hand-made cards, sweets, candles, toiletries, ornaments, jewellery, scarves, pictures and bags.

Other stalls sold items such as clocks, personalised T-shirts and underwear, learning aids for school pupils and children's language books.

The majority of the 19 YE companies were from the Norwich area but there were also students from the King Edward VII School, King's Lynn, and Diss High School.

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Patricia Hagan, development manager for Young Enterprise Norfolk, said: “The Norwich trade fair is always a very lively, successful event and Saturday's stalls attracted much interest - especially from people looking for Mothering Sunday presents.

“The youngsters certainly showed city shoppers how innovative and commercially minded they can be and the Norwich board members said it had been a real pleasure to work with them.”

Lord Mayor of Norwich Felicity Hartley attended the fair and handed out four £30 YE vouchers as prizes to the best entries. She also bought a relaxation kit from Soleseekers, of Thorpe St Andrew School.

Mrs Hartley said: “There was a lot of enthusiasm and a number of the youngsters had put a great deal of effort into their market research, stall presentation, branding and sales pitches.

“It was nice to spend time with them and see Young Enterprise in action.”

A record number of youngsters are taking part in this year's EDP Young Enterprise Business Awards.

A total of 539 students are turning bright ideas into money-making schemes under the Company Programme, which offers young people the opportunity to run their own businesses while still in full-time education.

Three area finals will take place next month and the the finals will be held on May 8 at County Hall, Norwich.

For more information on Young Enterprise, call 01953 455324 or 452210; e-mail patricia.hagan@yeee.org.uk; or visit www.yeee.org.uk and www.young-enterprise.org.uk

WINNERS

t Best Visual Display went to Katch from the Blyth-Jex School. The group of Year 10 students was selling greetings cards and jewellery. The company said it had sold nearly £300-worth of products by the end of the fair. Hazel Matless, 15, said: “I've really enjoyed doing Young Enterprise and this trade fair - and I would like to start my own business one day.”

t Best Product was won by Reversclash, of the City of Norwich School. The Lord Mayor was very impressed with the team's recycled products, which included clocks made from LPs and wheel hubs, and earrings made from bottle tops.

t Best Teamwork was won by Notrepreneurs, from Norwich's Notre Dame High School, selling prints and pictures made to order. Ali Hawson, 17, said: “Teamwork has been more important to us than the product or the display. You need to work together to be successful.”

t Best Sales Technique was by Soleseekers, of Thorpe St Andrew School, selling relaxation kits containing items for mums. Matt Tinkler, 17, said: “Young Enterprise has been an enjoyable and successful experience, giving us a chance to learn about commerce.”