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Business

Students win National Enterprise Award for partnerships and innovation in London

Young entrepreneurs from Belfast Boys’ Model and Mercy College pick up the Delta Air Lines Pursuit of Opportunity Award at the Young Enterprise UK final in London

YOUNG entrepreneurs from Belfast Boys' Model and Mercy College, who had already been crowned runner up with their company ‘Mindsight' at the recent Northern Ireland final in Belfast, have won the Delta Air Lines Pursuit of Opportunity Award at the Young Enterprise UK final in London

The final celebrated the top 14 UK student companies set up and run over one academic year as part of the Young Enterprise company programme, and the Delta Air Lines award goes to the team which has successfully pursued partnerships with other organisations.

Shared education team ‘MindSight' won the award with their social enterprise comprising of a mental health app and mental health training for schools.

Their app, which aims to breakdown the stigma surrounding the sensitive topic of mental well-being, has helped them create partnerships with ‘Inspire' and ‘Change Your Mind'.

The team have been part of the first ever BBC advert collection “BBC Loneliness Campaign” and they have delivered mental health training to P5, P6 and P7 pupils in a local primary school.

Lewis Robinson from winning team ‘MindSight' said: “For us it has never been about the competition, it's been about the impact that we're having, and we just want to help people. At the start of our journey we couldn't have ever imagined we would be standing where we are today. The Young Enterprise company programme has helped us develop so many different skills and we are so grateful”.

Paul Buckley, general manager airport customer services in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India at Delta Air Lines, said: “The Pursuit of Opportunity Award helps young people think big and understand the benefits of partnerships at a grass-roots level.

"Congratulations to ‘MindSight' for their achievements in this category. I was impressed by the creativity they demonstrated and the success of their business is testament to their hard work over the past year.”

Carol Fitzsimons, chief executive of Young Enterprise NI, said: “We are so proud of our students from ‘MindSight' for winning the Pursuit of Opportunity Award at the National final.

"Some 90,000 young people get involved in Young Enterprise NI each year, 240,000 across the UK. Company programme students develop their key employability skills by making all the decisions about their business, from deciding the company name and product, to creating a business plan, managing their finances and selling their products.

"A longitudinal study of company programme alumni has shown that in the two years following their company's closure, 94 per cent are in education, employment or training – 7 per cent higher than the national rate.”

Tommy O'Reilly, deputy secretary at the Department of Education, said: “Through their company programme, Young Enterprise continues to provide children and young people across a number of our schools the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

"Mercy College and the Boys Model in Belfast have done so well at the national final of the company programme, having worked together to develop a mental health app. Their collaboration is a real example of the benefits for schools and pupils from different religious and socio-economic backgrounds taking part in shared education and I wish them every success.”

The Young Enterprise Company Programme runs every year in schools across Northern Ireland, allowing students to develop their entrepreneurial skills whilst connecting with local businesses.

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