Castle Rushen students to represent Island in JA Europe Company of the Year final

Monday 13 July 2020

A team of five students from Castle Rushen High School will be representing the Isle of Man in the European finals of the Company Programme.

In March Solace team members Leighton Ginty, Ben Smith, Jonty Bregazzi, Orry Gooberman and Emma Millward won the Junior Achievement Student Company of the Year award.

Each year Manx charity Junior Achievement challenges Year 12 students to set up and run their own business, then take their product to market.

The team created a business support product called Occativity, which tracks customer footfall in retail outlets using the wi-fi signal from a mobile device. Solace then provides a report to the businesses which details the number of customers entering their stores. The data can be used to maximise sales by planning promotions and helping to predict staffing levels.

The students, who were supported in forming and running their company by volunteer business mentors Andrew Pennington and Jason Moorhouse MHK, should have been travelling to Portugal in July to represent the Isle of Man in the European finals of the Company Programme. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, they will be taking part in a virtual competition from July 22 to July 24, competing against around 44 other student teams for the title JA Europe Company of the Year.

Junior Achievement Chief Executive Sue Cook said: ‘It has been a challenging time for Solace during lockdown, having to balance their studies along with the work required to prepare for the European competition. It’s disappointing for the students that they have not been able to travel to Portugal but it’s testament to their hard work, resilience and determination to represent their country that they’re continuing with the virtual competition’.

The Manx public are being encouraged to support Solace by casting their vote online. For more information visit juniorachievementisleofman on Facebook.