Smile Buddy - Best Company 5


This year’s Isle of Wight Young Enterprise Company Programme Grand Final, held recently at Quay Arts in Newport, proved to be a real inspiration to both students and visitors.

The competition is led and organised by Ed-WISE, a charitable benefits society based on the Island, whose purpose is to increase life chances for young people locally. Estate agents Hose Rhodes Dickson are the financial supporters, funding the entry cost for each team.

Over the course of this current academic year, 7 Island school teams created, launched and run a proper business in a fantastic competition. The standard was incredibly high in 2021-22, even more remarkable given the disruption caused by COVID where teams were not able to produce and sell products to the public in the usual way.

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The teams navigated through Dragons Den, with a panel of Island businesspeople selecting which teams deserved to win more real cash investment. They also had the opportunity to undertake retail trading on Newport High Street.

In the final showdown, team Fortunate Events from Ryde Academy, who helped to connect people with activities through lockdown, won the Marketing Award. Medina College’s Medina Woodworking Company, with their recycled plant pots, scored a win to capture the Sustainability Award. The group who picked up the best Teamwork Award were Dye Hard from St Catherine’s School with a range of dyed bags and T-shirts.

The Company of the Year Award went to Smile Buddy from Ryde Academy with their subscription service selling sustainable toothbrushes, made from bamboo.

Commenting on the standard of businesses this year, Jamie Busby, Director, Hose Rhodes Dickson, summed up the feelings of the awarding judges:

“This year has been the hardest to select winners, with a range of successfully trading businesses covering a broad range of products and services. We were really encouraged by the taste for business that this programme is now creating, which can help the Island’s future business talent and prosperity.”

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The competition starts again this coming September for the 2022-23 academic year.

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