STUDENTS from colleges across Yorkshire took part in a business and enterprise competition at Huddersfield’s Galpharm Stadium.
And Shelley College student Helena Taylor beat hundreds of other budding young business people to be named most entrepreneurial student at this year’s Umph! competition.
Students working in teams used SimVenture business simulation software to tackle a range of business issues.
As well as being tested on their business knowledge, they were put through their paces by a judging panel that included business experts from event organiser and accountancy firm Grant Thornton.
During the day-long competition, the contestants received help and advice from a line-up of 10 successful entrepreneurs from the region, including Huddersfield Town chairman and Card Factory founder Dean Hoyle and Jacob Hill, Huddersfield-based founder of the Lazy Camper online retail venture.
Also taking part were Town ambassador Andy Booth and Yorkshire golfer Jas Athwal.
Helena, who is taking business studies at Shelley College, said: “The competition has been an inspirational experience. It was fantastic to meet all the entrepreneurs in person and I have learned a lot.
“Most importantly, perhaps, the event has given me the ambition to set up and run my own business, which I hope to do one day.”
Sandra O’Neill, head of business development at Grant Thornton said: “Helena made a real impression on all the judges with her entrepreneurial attitude, which I’m sure will stand her in good stead whatever she decides to do in life.
“Entrepreneurialism is vital to the entire UK economy if we are to succeed.”
She said: “Times are tough for school leavers in this economic climate, with rising youth unemployment and costly university fees taking their toll.
“We’re passionate about nurturing and inspiring young enterprise and innovation in young people, who are vital to the economy of tomorrow.”
The competition is part of Grant Thornton’s Educate to Innovate programme, which aims to encourage entrepreneurialism and forge links between businesses and education in the region.
The overall winning team was from Rossett School, Harrogate. Franklin College in Grimsby came second and the Brooksbank School, Elland, was third.
Huddersfield Town, SimVenture, law firm Dickinson Dees, marketing agency Fantastic Media, Kirklees Council and Huddersfield University also supported the event.