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Enterprising students show off their business acumen to PCC

An enterprising group of students, who set up their own company to sell personal safety products, have been demonstrating their business acumen to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex.

The group of 14 students – who are all aged between 16 and 17 – at Colchester County High School for Girls entered a European competition organised by Young Enterprise where they had to set up their own company and then researched, created, marketed and sold their own product.

Called Venture, the girls began meeting every Tuesday and Friday in their lunchtimes to create a product. After carrying out market research the enterprising students decided to create a personal safety product.

PCC Nick Alston with Venture from Colchester County High School for Girls

PCC Nick Alston with Venture from Colchester County High School for Girls

The product, called StreetSmart, is a bag made up of a personal alarm, a torch, a purse cable, a fluorescent wristband an emergency contact card and a top tips guide for safety. The product is primarily aimed at females but is packaged in various coloured presentation packs allowing it to be sold to both genders.

StreetSmart has already proved to be a success and has been sold by the girls at various locations across Essex. They are now targeting parents with the product who they hope will purchase it for their children. To date the girls have sold in excess of 170 StreetSmart packs.

At a recent lunchtime meeting of the students, Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, was invited along to the school in Norman Way, Colchester to hear about Venture’s journey and offer them some thoughts and feedback.

Mr Alston said: “I commend the students from Colchester County High School for Girls and their Company ‘Venture’ for the StreetSmart product.

“The concept behind the StreetSmart package addresses a real need to encourage young people to be aware of the risks around them on the streets.

“Fortunately incidents of robbery or violence are relatively infrequent but taking simple precautions is always sensible. The advice offered through StreetSmart, which the attractive products reinforce and support, is excellent.

“The presentation to me by Venture was professional and comprehensive and it led to a stimulating discussion from which I took real value, and which I hope was useful to the Venture team.”

Clive Bass, Business Advisor to the pupils, said: “Venture came together as a team entering into a European competition organised by Young Enterprise in October last year, by working in a business team and running as a real company for an academic year by carrying out market research, developing the product, managing finances, promoting the product, then marketing and selling the product.

“The Link teacher and I both believe Venture has been a great team to work alongside, and with a great product (that has the potential of helping someone avoid getting into danger) have enjoyed real successes and some minor set-backs, and the process has given the students a true insight into the world of business.

“To date they have sold in excess of 170 packs of StreetSmart and toward the middle of April will be attending a Northern Area final in Colchester where they hope to be judged to be in the top two teams in the area allowing them to go further in the competition.”

Mr Alston attended the meeting with the girls on Tuesday March 17.

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PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
01245 291600

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