Ballakermeen High School team to represent Isle of Man at JA Europe Company of the Year competition

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Junior Achievement Isle of Man 2019 Company of the Year winners Gravity from Ballakermeen High School will represent the Island at the 30th JA Company of the Year competition in Lille from 3rd to 5th July.

The team – Caitlin Ball, (IT and Marketing) Ciara Butler (Sales), Jasmine Colligon (Managing Director), Lorna Spiers (Finance Director) and Abbie Williams (Secretary) – will be joining around 200 other young entrepreneurs from 39 European nations in the year Junior Achievement worldwide is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man partner Gravity, whose slogan is: ‘Clean up the world while cleaning your teeth’ won the ‘JA Student Company of the Year’ with their product called the Bambrush, an eco-friendly toothbrush made from bamboo, after their research revealed that every year some 3.5 billion plastic toothbrushes are purchased every year.

The team looked at how they could help to reverse the environmental impact of plastic and came up with an eco-friendly alternative. Bamboo is one of nature’s fast-growing plants, a sustainable and biodegradable material, unlike plastic, which has been estimated to take around 400 years to break down.

Gravity’s latest product is Bambuds, biodegradable ear buds, inspired by Manx charity Beach Buddies, which reported that ear buds form much of the litter washed up on beaches around the island. Wipes are also found in large quantities, which has prompted the team to look into a biodegradable alternative.

Junior Achievement Chief Executive Sue Cook said: ‘In just over one academic year the team have developed an idea, sourcing their product and taking it to market. Now they’re going to be representing the Isle of Man in Europe where they’ll be up against some very tough competition.

‘With this in mind we’re enormously grateful to HSBC Isle of Man for their three-year sponsorship of the Junior Achievement Company Programme. Their commitment and support of our work has meant that young entrepreneurs from the Isle of Man have the opportunity to compete at a European level and present their product to a distinguished panel of international judges. It also means that we’re able to promote the island to a far wider audience. We wish Gravity every success in Lille.’

HSBC Isle of Man’s head of corporate and commercial banking Jaime Amoedo said: It has been wonderful to see the progress made by all of this year’s IOM Company Programme teams. The dedication and innovation they have demonstrated gives me great confidence in our island’s future entrepreneurs. HSBC wishes team Gravity all the very best at the European finals.

Gravity is currently looking at other everyday household items with a view to sourcing eco-friendly alterantives.  Meanwhile, the Bambrush and Bambuds can be ordered online at gravityiom.com.

To find out more about Junior Achievement and the Company Programme visit jaiom.im, contact Sue Cook, 666266, sue.cook@jaiom.im or follow juniorachievementisleofman on Facebook.