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Students honoured at Making Business Happen Awards

Two enterprising teenagers won top prize at the Making Business Awards ceremony, held at the University of South Wales (USW)..

The Awards, now in their fourth year, are designed to highlight young entrepreneurial talent and reward groups and individuals for their commitment and approach to developing an effective or innovative business or business idea. This year saw many entries from across the UK; six entrants were shortlisted and invited to the event.

George Palozzi and Harry Bartlett, from The Perse Upper School, Cambridge, are looking to enter the smart devices/internet of things (IOT) market with their business idea ‘Chispa ltd’. The Chispa switch is a universal IOT device which can be placed over a range of buttons, switches and dials on appliances, such as light switches, kettles, and ovens. George and Harry are planning to spend the £3,000 prize-money on further product development.

George Wilbraham, from Coleg Cambria Yale, scooped second prize, winning £1,500, while third place went to Shenell Thomas, from Dudley College, who took home £750.

In addition, all winners will get a comprehensive business support and mentoring package from the USW Business School, as well as an award to their colleges to enable them to further their enterprise offer to students.

Speaking after the event, George and Harry said:

“We are really pleased to win this award and have our hard work recognised.

“We weren’t sure whether we were ready to enter the awards, but we are so pleased we did. The experience gained from today and the advice given from the judges has been invaluable. We hope to continue to develop our product alongside our studies therefore busy/exciting times ahead.”

Professor Jonathan Deacon, of USW’s Faculty of Business and Society, said:

“Making Business Happen is an example of the ethos at the Business School, whereby we aim to not just teach business but encourage and, more importantly, support it.

“Hosted by USW Exchange, USW’s centre for developing skills and business support, the awards are a national recognition of entrepreneurial thinking.

“This year’s finalists have all demonstrated creativity and innovation in business. George and Harry are a shining example of entrepreneurial spirit. The judges were impressed with their business planning detail and clear vision to adapt old and new technology for the end user.

“The entries just get better and better.”

Cheryl Gourlay, National Enterprise Manager for NatWest, said:

“Another impressive year from Making Business Happen finalists, the standard was very high and deciding on the winner was very difficult. Natwest Cymru are pleased to support Making Business Happen, year on year, as we encourage an entrepreneurial culture from classroom to boardroom”