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Impressive entry from Tain Royal Academy wins senior category of Highland Hospice apprentice competition

By Calum MacLeod

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BUDDING businessfolk of the future put their entrepreneurial skills to the test in aid of a good cause at the Highland Hospice Young Highland Apprentice Competition 2020.

Local schools were given a start up loan – £250 for secondary pupils and £50 for primary schools – and use that seed money to start a business or raise funds, with some schools doing both.

At the end of the competition, the teams have to produce a set of accounts and deduct their £250 to show how much profit they have made.

However, the competition, which is again sponsored by Inverness estate agents Tailormade Moves, also take into account other factors, including preparation and the strength of their business idea, when judging the winners.

The secondary school category was won by an impressive entry from Tain Royal Academy's TRA Leaders whose money-making initiatives included a Halloween event and a family Christmas Fair, which was opened up to the wider community to showcase their products as well.

This year's competition was particularly well supported by Crown Primary School with seven teams taking part, including the 2020 winners, the Money Bunnies.

“Their idea was to make Christmas trees out of palettes and they won because they had the foresight not only to research, but to take orders," Hospice fundraiser Katie Gibb revealed.

"They sold all their products, but because they also took orders, they were able to maximise their opportunity, whereas some of the others made a product and if it sold out, that was great, but that was all."

In a close final, Crown faced competitions from Balloch Primary School's Santa Squad, who sold individual hot chocolate sachets and "Santa Dust" magic glitter.

The Balloch team particularly impressed the judges with the in-depth market research they conducted before setting up the business, but also the level of sponsorship the team secured from local businesses which maximised their revenue and ultimately revenue for the Hospice.

The winning schools win a cash prize, while the Hospice also benefits, with this year's competition raising a total of £4200 for its work in Inverness and throughout the Highlands.

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