Judges Stunned by Young Enterprise Finalists
Six pupils from St Oswald’s ALN Secondary School in Castlemilk scooped numerous awards at the Young Enterprise Final in Go Glasgow Urban Hotel last night.
The only assisted support needs school to enter the competition walked away triumphant with wins in the categories best overall presentation and best trade fair stand and third in company of the year and most promising product.
Business savvy groups from fifteen schools across Glasgow, including Hutchesons’ Grammar School, Craigholme School and Glasgow Gaelic School, rose to the challenge of creating, marketing and selling a product which they had to present to a panel of 5 judges at the finals.
Anthony McEwan, head of commercial real estate at Glasgow’s legal firm DWF and Sue Beatt, director of the Whiskey Ambassador Limited were just some of the big names the schools had to impress.
The all-girl group from St Oswald’s introduced their profitable emoji-themed jewellery business Emo-G to a packed room of business partners, entrepreneurs and teachers during a four-minute on-stage presentation which included a pre-prepared video and sketch.
Principal teacher Jaclyn Livingstone said: “The girls have really embraced this whole experience as young confident women. Pupils at St Oswald’s have shown they have fantastic showmanship and can use drama to help showcase their talents. They are the big league and they are the competition.”
Young Enterprise Scotland business partner and ex-chair Lorraine Ross described her apprehension before meeting the team from St Oswald’s as they had chosen not to participate in the Team Programme designed for Special Needs Education (SEN) students and compete against mainstream students in the Company Programme.
“Even though our girls have disabilities, tonight showed that they can compete with the best.”-Alison McGinley
Ross said: “There is an assumption that employing assisted support needs individuals are going to be more work, time or effort, but when you see the young people like the kids from St Oswald’s tonight, they absolutely buck that trend as they are nothing like that. They’ve planned, organised, problem solved and used their initiative, and these are all skills employers look for. They have them by the bucket load!”
Ross added: “Given my history of taking pupils through the programme, you have the worry of going into additional support needs establishments that the demands of the competition may be too high, but this was just not the case as these girls are exceptionally skilled individuals. To see their journey from where they were at the beginning to them winning two prizes against mainstream and independent schools in Glasgow City Council tonight has been incredible.”
Alison McGinley, a proud mother of one of the St Oswald’s pupils said: “Even though our girls have disabilities, tonight showed that they can compete with the best.”
Young Enterprise Scotland strives to combat youth unemployment through their programmes which creates opportunities for young people to enhance employability skills and encourage entrepreneurial mindsets. Click here to request information on any of the Young Enterprise programmes.
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