Bangor school leaps to success in enterprise competition


Students from Bangor Academy and sixth form college emerged as winners from the Step ‘N’ Zones competition with their ‘Gaming Guides’ business idea. The students were presented with a cheque for £1,000 by Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive, Invest Northern Ireland. Also pictured are Mr Billy Hyndman, Principal and Louise Hanvey Head of Learning for Life & Work and Richard Black.

Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College has emerged as winner of Invest Northern Ireland’s inaugural Step ‘N’ Zones Competition. The competition, which was held during Global Entrepreneurship Week (14-20 November), attracted almost 1,000 students from 40 schools across Northern Ireland.

Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive of Invest Northern Ireland, said: “If we are to transform our economy it is vital that we inspire and support the next generation of entrepreneurs. Competitions like this allow us to show young people that it is possible to start their own businesses, and to provide them with the knowledge and confidence they need to pursue their ambition.

“The students who participated in the Step ‘N’ Zones competition will be the business leaders and self starters of the future. It is therefore important that we do all we can to help and encourage them to develop vital business skills such as communication, negotiation and creative thinking.”

The competition challenged the schools who took part to develop a business idea through a series of enterprise zones which helped them with ideas, plans and brands. The winning team, ‘The Inbetweeners’ from Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College, developed an online gaming strategy guide idea. The judges were particularly impressed with the team’s attention to detail, their sales strategy and their plans to develop mobile apps and sales channels.

Louise Hanvey, ICT Co-ordinator at the school, said: “I’m delighted that our school has been successful in this competition. I was particularly pleased with how the event motivated my students to use their hobbies and passions to develop their ideas. Succeeding in such a highly competitive environment will be a massive boost to their self confidence.

“The event highlighted many of the key elements young entrepreneurs need to consider when starting a business and because of this event they were able to appreciate the process better when they returned to the classroom.”

The school now walks away with the top prize of £1,000 and each of the students can look forward to enjoying some well deserved outdoor activities with East Coast Adventure.

The runners-up in the competition included St Killian’s College, Carnlough with S’cool Bags, an online website for students to customise and design their own school bag, and St Colm’s High School, Draperstown with ‘Footwear Funatics’, a customisation kit for shoes and trainers targeting young people.