Ballakermeen High School team Gravity wins Student Company of the Year 2019

Thursday 14 March 2019

A team from Ballakermeen High school has won the Junior Achievement Student Company of the Year 2019 award, sponsored by HSBC in the Isle of Man.

Over the last seven months more than 100 ‘A’ Level students from Ballakermeen High School, Castle Rushen High School, Queen Elizabeth II High School, Ramsey Grammar School and St Ninian’s High School took part in Junior Achievement’s Company Programme which challenges students to set up and run their own business, then take their product to market.

On Wednesday March 6 at the Palace Hotel 20 student companies competed in the final to determine who would be crowned ‘Student Company of the Year’.

The student teams presented to an audience of more than 150 people, exhibited their products at a trade stand fair and were assessed and interviewed by a 10-strong panel of judges.

One week later the results of the competition were announced at an awards ceremony held at the Villa Marina, supported by HSBC Isle of Man. The occasion also provided the opportunity for Junior Achievement to celebrate with more than 300 guests the 100th anniversary of Junior Achievement worldwide.

The business idea from winning team Gravity – Caitlin Ball, Ciara Butler, Jasmine Colligon, Lorna Spiers and Abbie Williams – was Bambrush, an eco-friendly toothbrush made from bamboo and natural fibres. At the trade stand exhibition the team had also introduced Bambud, an eco-friendly earbud.

Gravity’s Jasmine Coligon said: ‘The Company Programme is a brilliant opportunity to learn how to run a business. I’ve also made four great new friends. When we started some seven months ago we had no idea how to go about starting a business but as the months went on we were able drew on our different skills to make a really strong team. Now, if anyone were to ask me if they should enter the Company Programme, I’d say “go for it”.’

Gravity will go on to represent the Isle of Man in the JA Europe Company of the Year competition in Lille, France in July.

Company of the Year runners-up were Cerulean and, for the first time in the competition’s history two teams came joint third, Zeta and Suavé Equanimity, both from St Ninian’s High School.

Junior Achievement’s chief executive Sue Cook said: ‘This year Junior Achievement worldwide is celebrating its 100th anniversary and I’m incredibly proud to be part of an organisation that has been helping young people to make the connection between education and the world of work for 100 years.

‘This entrepreneurial company programme presents a unique opportunity for students to develop employability skills that will help them in the years ahead and I would like thank HSBC Isle of Man for their commitment to support this programme for the next three years.

Presenting Gravity with the Company of the Year Award HSBC Isle of Man’s head of corporate and commercial banking Jaime Amoedo said: ‘HSBC supports the Junior Achievement Company Programme to help our island students develop important skills for their future careers. I’ve been very impressed with the talent on show this evening and congratulations to all the participants and winners.’

Recipients of the 11 signature awards in the Student Company of the Year Competition 2019 were:

HSBC Student Company of the Year award

Winner: Gravity, Ballakermeen High School (picture left to right Lorna Spiers, Caitlin Ball, Abbie Williams, Ciara Butler, Jasmine Colligon and Jaime Amoedo from HSBC).

Runners-up: Cerulean, Ramsey Grammar School

Joint third place: Zeta and Suave Equanimity, St Ninian’s High School

MannBenham Advocates Award for Outstanding Team Member
Jessica Romero from team Libra, Ballakermeen High School

Zurich International Life Award for Innovation in Business
Cerulean, Ramsey Grammar School

Maggie Galloway Memorial Award for Inspirational Leadership
Jasmine Colligon from Gravity, Ballakermeen High School

Hugh Logan Architects Award for Positive Social Impact
Calor, Ballakermeen High School

Boston Link Award for Best use of Social Media and Marketing
Gravity, Ballakermeen High School

KPMG Award for Financial Excellence
Zeta, St Ninian’s High School

Celton Manx Special Recognition Award
Zeta, St Ninian’s High School

Barclays Award for Volunteer Mentor of the Year
Julie Bradley, mentor of Res Novae, St Ninian’s High School

ELS Award for Best use of Technology
Revive, Castle Rushen High School

JA Alumni Students’ Choice Award
Zeta, St Ninian’s High School

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