An award-winning competition aimed at inspiring Cumbria's youngest entrepreneurs has announced its winners.

The Bright Stars Autumn/Winter 2023 programme, facilitated by the Centre for Leadership Performance (CforLP) and local businesses, provides each participating school with £50 seed funding to create their own mini social enterprise in just 12 weeks.

The competition categories included best example of leadership, best marketing idea, best example of community engagement, and more.

News and Star: Kingmoor Nursery and Infant SchoolKingmoor Nursery and Infant School (Image: Kingmoor Nursery and Infant School)

The projects presented by the young entrepreneurs ranged from winter warmer packs, festive products, and tree planting initiatives, all aimed at making a profitable difference in their communities.

The winners included Ewanrigg Junior School, mentored by North Lakes Hotel and Spa and sponsored by Allerdale GDF, whose 'most profitable social enterprise' turned a profit of £2066.76 by creating winter warmer packs for the elderly.

Elsewhere, Derwent Vale Primary and Nursery School, in partnership with Whitehaven Harbour Youth Project, earned the award for the best demonstration of being a great communicator.

Demonstrating effective communication skills, the school organised a Christmas cosy day filled with various fun activities and stalls.

Under the guidance of No Name Travel, Broughton Moor Primary School bagged the best marketing idea prize.

The school introduced 'Tradimals', a unique collection of wildlife-themed trading cards, supported by a catchy theme tune and a marketing strategy.

A notable win was Seaton St Paul’s C of E Junior School, who, with University of Cumbria business student Faye Holiday and volunteer Angela Schinzel, won the best example of leadership.

News and Star: Seaton St Paul's C of E Junior SchoolSeaton St Paul's C of E Junior School (Image: Seaton St Paul's C of E Junior School)

The school's customer service team won hearts during their hot chocolate cones sale at Dunmail Park.

Moreover, Valley Primary School and Nursery, sponsored by Barclays Eagle Labs and Nuclear Waste Services, achieved the best example of technology use.

They engaged technology by creating captivating videos, 3D printed Christmas decorations, and promoting environmentally friendly products on social media.

The best social enterprise business idea was secured by Broughton Primary School.

Their concept, Elfridges, allows children to choose, wrap, and label presents, with 50 per cent of the profits reinvested back into the community.

The judges mentioned that they were amazed by the mini social enterprises developed in this programme and that the standards were incredibly high.

The schools and businesses are set to celebrate their accomplishments at an online event scheduled for January 25th.

The CforLP has now opened registration for the Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter 2024 Bright Stars programmes, inviting local businesses to aid in cultivating the next generation of leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs.