East Leake Academy student company, Recycled Time, have gone one step further in a national business competition, after being awarded the Young Enterprise East Midlands ‘Company of the Year’ accolade at an awards presentation held on 4 June at Nottingham Trent University.

The team’s success comes after recently being crowned the Nottinghamshire Young Enterprise winners in May, and now puts the budding entrepreneurs in the running for the ultimate position of ‘UK Company of the Year’ at the national finals to be held in London on 18 June.

Thomas Richards, East Leake student and managing director of Recycled Time, said: “It was an amazing experience to attend such a prestigious event and to be a part of such a strong group of teams. It was a great feeling to see all of our efforts recognised with a win and to now have the honour of representing the East Midlands at the national final.”

This is the seventh year the academy, which is part of the Diverse Academies Learning Partnership, has taken part in the Young Enterprise programme – challenging young people to design and create a product or service and market this to make a profit.

Recycled Time is made up of year 12 students, and its members formed the actual company, opened a business bank account and had weekly meetings with the academy co-ordinator and Young Enterprise business advisor. The team attended various markets and hired stalls in order to promote their company and product, as well as developing a website and social media accounts for their business.

Thomas added: “Setting up the business has been a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience. Despite facing numerous setbacks and difficulties on our journey, we stuck together as a team and learnt from each and every one of them. The hardest part has been structuring the team and putting our own friendships aside to focus on the needs of the business. But it’s also been a really rewarding experience too, seeing how far we have come as both a team and as individuals. We are all so excited to see what the future holds for Recycled Time.”

East Leake principal, Kathy Hardy, said: “Extra-curricular activities are an important aspect of academy life, ensuring our students leave us well prepared for the world of work and further study. We are immensely proud of the achievements of our students and their commitment in developing their ideas and taking the business concept forward. They have shown a level of commercial astuteness which is beyond their years and we have every confidence in them achieving their future aspirations.”

Harrison Conn, East Leake student and director of operations at Recycled Time, summed up: “We’ve worked extremely hard in readiness for the finals, preparing reports and presentations, and putting the final touches on everything to give us the best chance of winning. It’s been difficult at times, but we wanted to have fun too and having a group of friends to do it with has made it easier than we expected.”

Recycled Time will now go on to the national finals in London on 18 June 2019, where they will compete against the regional winners from across the UK.

Find out more about Recycled Time by visiting: www.recycledtime.uk