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Youth Innovate Uncovers Next Young Entrepreneurs

18th February 2016 by Onside Youth Zones

Three teams of young people from our Youth Zone network have progressed through to the final stage in a competition designed to find the some of the UK’s brightest young entrepreneurs.

As part of our Youth Innovate challenge, the young people from Wigan Youth Zone and Bolton Lads and Girls Club beat stiff competition to secure the chance to have their products turned into a reality and stocked in outlets throughout the UK.

The successful teams were ‘Like Clock Work’, who created a clock designed to aid children with autism to plan out their daily activities, ‘Cookie Mad’, who developed a mug with a built-in biscuit holder and ‘Snappy Cellfie’ whose phone case concept includes a built-in selfie-stick holder.

The teams secured their places in the competition final after pitching their concepts to a judging panel consisting of Danny Emmett from online electrical retailer AO.com, Lucy West, Head of News at ITV Granada, as well as our very own CEO Kathryn Morley and our kind and friendly Young People’s Engagement Manager David Barton.

After hearing presentations from seven teams of young entrepreneurs from across the north of England, the judges selected the three most creative and marketable ideas to progress to the final. The young people will now compete against one another in their teams, in a final pitch to senior retail industry executives in London at Retail Week Live on March 16th and 17th.

The winner will see their product turned into a reality and stocked in outlets throughout the UK.

John Roberts, Chief Executive Officer of AO.com and a keen supporter of OnSide Youth Zones, has agreed with some of the country’s biggest retailers that the final product will be ranged in at least 100 outlets, with the retailer decided based on the nature of the winning product.

Kathryn Morley, OnSide’s Chief Executive Officer said: “Youth Innovate demonstrates what can be achieved when we nurture young people and give them opportunities to develop their natural talents.

“I’m proud of every single one of the entrants we’ve had in the competition this year, and especially pleased to be sending these three teams to Retail Week Live in London. Their product concepts demonstrated they possess the ability to think both creatively and commercially, and more importantly, that they aren’t afraid of hard work.

“It was genuinely exciting to see them collaborating, rising to the various challenges and taking what may be the first steps in some truly remarkable career paths.”

Youth Innovate is part of our focus on equipping young people with the skills and confidence they need to progress and succeed in work. Our ‘Get a Job’ employability scheme, which is Supported by Accenture and AO.com, has seen more than 87 per cent of young people taking the courses progressing into employment, education or training.

The winners are pictured below, but for a full gallery of the day, please visit our Facebook page by clicking here.