Young Enterprise North East Is The Bees Knees

Posted on the 10 June 2010

Young Enterprise North East Is The Bees Knees

Newcastle University students who set up a business which helps save the decreasing population of UK honey bees are buzzing after winning a top national award.

The five entrepreneurial girls, who set up Queen Bee Candles as part of their Young Enterprise North East Graduate Programme, recently picked up the Spirit of SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) Award on behalf of Newcastle University at a celebratory ceremony in London, which recognised the team’s passion and business potential.

Queen Bee Candles produces handmade candles from renewable beeswax and donates 50% of its profits to the UK Soil Association’s Save the Honey Bee campaign, which supports beekeepers and funds research into why honey bees are decreasing.

Within only a few months of trading, the business studies students have taken over £750 through trade fair sales and forging contacts with businesses who sell their products on a point of sale basis.

The company has been asked to join Newcastle University’s Students in Free Enterprise Team and is working with councils to deliver a series of workshops where they will share their experience of setting up a social enterprise.

Queen Bee Candles operations manager Katie Griffiths said: “We are proud of our achievements and are very grateful to Young Enterprise North East for giving us a platform to set up our own business. We owe thanks to our business mentors and tutors; they have offered us invaluable advice and encouragement as well as helping us create important business contacts.

“We are now taking what we have learnt from Young Enterprise to transfer business knowledge and inspire entrepreneurial spirit in others.”

Queen Bee Candles also received the Best Pitch and Best Graduate Company Award at the Young Enterprise North East Trade Fair in April and is currently shortlisted in the Newcastle University Enterprise Challenge 2010.

The Young Enterprise North East Graduate Programme aims to teach and inspire young people to develop creative and successful business ideas. North East business people volunteer their time to mentor those participating. The programme creates an important link between young people and successful business leaders so that knowledge, skills and contacts can be passed on.