Taking place at the Wills Memorial Building in Bristol University, Young Enterprise held their South West Company of the year awards sponsored by Excalibur Communications.

The event celebrated the achievements of the YE South West Company Programme finalists and guests were inspired and motivated by budding South West entrepreneurs who showcased their companies and told their stories of the year-long journeys they had taken into the business world.

Excalibur’s CEO, James Phipps, was asked to be on the judging panel due to his involvement as a Young Enterprise sponsor and board member. He was also given the New Business Supporter of the year Award on the night. 

James said; “The reason I wanted to be involved with Young Enterprise is because they offer a unique opportunity for young people to set up and run their own real business for a year.

"The students are around 80% more likely to find employment post-education and are twice as likely to run a business than their peers. In the current climate the work Young Enterprise does is not a luxury, it is crucial to the success of this generation and we are happy to support in every way.”

The winners of the final were Cirencester Sixth Form College’s team Swapplications. The team aims to provide and maintain smartphone applications for schools, colleges and universities in the UK.

Jeevan Thandi,  iOS developer for Swapplications said that the competition was “Invaluable in developing our networking skills and also getting their business on the map outside of the education system”.

Statistics from the Young Enterprise scheme show those who take part are 80 per cent more likely to find employment post-education, and are twice as likely as their peers to run their own business.

Julie Pond, Area Manager for the South West said: “The students have all gained so much on the programme – they’re more confident and have really developed their life skills such as teamwork and problem-solving that will help them in their future careers.”

The UK Finals take place in Kensington, London on Sunday.

If you are a local business and interested in sponsorship or becoming a business advisor, or a school wanting to get involved in the Young Enterprise scheme, please contact: Andrew Martin on 07816 954491 or andrew.martin@young-enterprise.org.uk.