Enterprising Parkhall students are showing they mean business

Winning company Choices 4 U, pictured with (left to right) Paul Corrigan, Corrigan Consulting; Janet Skillen, JMS Homes; Councillor Roisin Lynch and teacher Donna Park Fullerton.
Winning company Choices 4 U, pictured with (left to right) Paul Corrigan, Corrigan Consulting; Janet Skillen, JMS Homes; Councillor Roisin Lynch and teacher Donna Park Fullerton.

Students from Parkhall College have been working with local charity Young Enterprise to start not just one but a trio of businesses through The Company Programme.

Year 11 students have started three companies with the charity developing skills for life and work through hands-on enterprise experience with the support of volunteer business advisers from local businesses.

The Company Programme gives young people the chance to run their own business over the academic year, with the opportunity to sell their products at trade fairs and compete with other schools at various competitions.

The exciting enterprise programme finished with a Dragons’ Den style event where each of the companies pitched their ideas to a panel of local business experts.

The companies also faced questions from the panel, who asked about different business principles, overcoming challenges, as well as assessing their presentation skills.

After a deliberation from judges Janet Skillen from JMS Homes and Councillor Roisin Lynch, the top award for Best Overall Company went to the company Choices 4 U, whose products included candles, gift bags and other seasonal items, and who were mentored through the process by volunteer Business Adviser Paul Corrigan, from Corrigan Consulting.

Janet Skillen from JMS Homes, who judged on the day, described the students involved as “well presented, motivated young business people who have obviously worked hard to achieve their goal”.

She said: “Along the way they have learned many valuable skills and encountered many of the real life difficulties and challenges faced by all companies.

“It is truly delightful to see the strength of entrepreneurship coming through in our students in Antrim”.