Budding isles entrepreneurs could soon be giving Alan Sugar a run for his money, wowing judges with their business ideas at Shetland Museum and Archives.
Two teams went head to head in the Young Enterprise Shetland regional final last night, with Fancie Tins being named the winners and securing a spot for the national finals in Glasgow in June.
The Anderson High and Brae High School pupils have spent months, researching, developing and promoting their products.
On Monday they set up stalls in the museum foyer before giving presentations to the judges in the main auditorium.
From the craft fair, to social media and Sunday Teas the teams have been hard at work to get their projects up and running.
Fancie Tins produced and sold 150 locally designed cake tins, suitable for storing cakes or other fancies in.
Meanwhile, Inside Connections, based at the Anderson High School, made custom iPhone cases inspired Shetland’s heritage and culture.
A third company, Bittersie, also from the AHS, participated in the company programme this year, but did not make it to the local area final.
Fancie Tins sales director Laura Povilonyte, said baking was quite big up north, especially during the festive season.
“We thought about doing something to do with baking, and then somebody in the team had the idea about doing something to do with storage for cakes so we decided on a fancy tin.”
Managing director Ellie Johnson said the team had learnt a lot about how businesses run during the project.
“Sunday Teas is such a massive thing in Shetland, everybody is needing tins to take fancies and homebakes into different places. So we thought there would be quite a potential market out there.
“…We’ve learned a lot about finance and teamwork. Especially being such good friends trying to be professional about it because it’s a different situation.”
Inside Connections managing director Callum Anderson and public relations director Jago Gibson said they had taken a lot from the project.
“The last couple of months we’ve been working hard to produce and design our own custom phone cases that would have selling potential up here, so we were thinking about tourists markets, Up-Helly-A’ and any personalised kind of orders that we could cater to.”
“I’ve definitely got more involved in community events, the craft fair,” said Jago.
“I’ve been out of bed before 11 o’clock on a Saturday morning sometimes,” smiled Callum.
Ellie added: “We were absolutely delighted to win the Shetland final and enjoyed the experience last night. It was great to be able to share our journey with the judges and audience.
“Everybody really pulled together in our team to make last night as successful as we could, and we are so pleased that all our hard work has paid off. Next we have to prepare for the regional finals in Glasgow in June, and plan to use feedback from the judges to enhance our performance there.
“A massive thanks goes out to all our customers, business advisors and everyone who has supported us over the past year. Well done to Inside Connections for their performance last night too, and we want to wish them the best of luck with their future endeavours.”
Sue Beer, chairwoman of the Shetland Area Young Enterprise Team, said: “We were all impressed by the quality of this year’s companies. They have learnt so much in their Young Enterprise journey and this experience will serve them well as they leave school and head out into the wider world.
The judging team was made up of Ben Laurenson of RSM UK, Nicola Johnston of Shetland Fudge and David Priest of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The presentation of a trophy to the winning managing director was made by Gavin Bell, former Young Enterprise alumni, entrepreneur and founder of Blue CliffMedia, he spoke of his own endeavours and told the young business minds failure was an important part of success.
The YES company programme and team members support sixth year school students in forming and running their own company for an academic year. Teams are judged on their company report, their trade stand, a presentation before the invited audience and finally by a question and answer session.
Participants also have the opportunity to enter the Young Enterprise Scotland Exam which is offered in partnership with the University of Strathclyde Business School and the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, and 21 Shetland students sat the exam this year supported by Shetland Islands Council youth services.