A team from Ballakermeen High School in Douglas will represent the Isle of Man at the Junior Achievement-Young Engterprise Europe Company of the Year competition in Estonia later this month – and they’re looking for your vote.
Simple Minds - Rio Allison, Nick Collins, Lewis Daly, Andrew O’Neill and Jasmine Marsh - won the Junior Achievement 2014 Boston Group Company of the Year award in March for their product Need a Hand, a sealable polythene glove for cleaning up after dogs, which they promoted with the strap line: ‘Tender glove and care for your dog and the environment.’
They will now be competing against ‘the best of the best’ in Tallin, Estonia, in a challenging series of presentations that will culminate in a team being named JA-YE Europe Company of the Year on July 24.
As they prepare to fly out to Estonia people in the Isle of Man can support them by voting for Simple Minds in the People’s Choice award. Just log on to Simple Minds’ website - www.5simpleminds.com - and cast your vote.
Since they lifted the Company of the Year trophy in March, Simple Minds have been busy.
Team member Nick Collins said: ‘We’ve had to up our game, holding extra meetings and heightening our commitment, which requires much more effort.
‘In the run-up to the competition in Estonia our preparations went well. We submitted the company’s presentation, video and report all ahead of our set deadline, and that’s given us more time to devote to improving our presentation.
‘Competing in Estonia will be a fantastic experience; we can’t wait to see the other companies and meet new people. Also it will be a great experience to travel to Estonia, not somewhere we ever expected we’d be visiting.
‘We came up with the concept of the “Need a Hand?” glove so dog owners could clean up after their pets in a user-friendly way that was also kind to the environment. Currently dog owners use plastic bags, which can be messy and difficult to seal after use and can fall off your hand very easily. We recently developed our glove in black biodegradable polythene with a drawstring for easy seal. We’ve now found manufacturers and got costings for Need A Hand to go into production.
‘All that’s needed now is for people to vote for us in the People’s Choice category. We’d love to have the support of the Island, come back from Estonia as winners and do our Island proud so we’re asking people to visit www.5simpleminds.com and vote for us.’
Simple Minds will be heading to Estonia on Sunday, July 20, with Junior Achievement’s chief executive Sue Cook and programme manager Joy Spence, business mentor Damon Warr of PwC and Ballakermeen High School’s key stage 5 (sixth form) head Ian Kay.
Friends Provident International Ltd has funded T-shirts for the team’s challenge as well as materials and transport costs for the Simple Minds exhibition stand.
The Company of the Year programme, which challenges students to form and run a company with the support and advice of teachers and mentors drawn from the local business community, is sponsored by the Boston Charitable Foundation.
To find out more about Junior Achievement Isle of Man visit www.jaiom.im.