Young entrepreneurs have received national recognition for innovative coffee mugs that are causing a stir beyond their school gates.
The 22 students from the North London Collegiate, in Canons Drive, Edgware, set up their business, sMUG, as part of their school’s Young Enterprise scheme in October.
Since then, the team has made almost £3,000 selling the colourful travel mugs, adorned with quirky slogans including ‘to infini-tea and beyond’ and ‘how YOU brewin?’.
The lower sixth form students recently won ‘best overall company’ at a national Young Enterprise awards event in Milton Keynes.
They also finished runners up in the ‘best product’ category and were previously named as the best stand at a trade fair in Harrow.
Pupil Hana Alam, of Hendon, is one of the company’s managing directors and says the idea for the mugs came from a desire to be original with their product.
The 16-year-old said: “We wanted to make them our own and something different to anything else.
“We’re quite competitive and very ambitious so we were very happy when we won best overall company.”
Young Enterprise is a Europe-wide scheme aimed at getting young people involved in business at school.
Companies are officially registered through Young Enterprise and students are encouraged to come up with innovative product ideas.
The sMUG group sourced their portable plastic coffee cups from an organisation in Manchester that was also able to arrange printing of the slogans.
The mugs are now being sold at £7.99 each and the young business men and women have big ideas for the small company.
Alyce Kohler, of Elstree, is the company’s marketing director and says she is looking to pursue a career in the field after enjoying her role so much.
The 17-year-old said: “We’re already thinking about bringing out a new product with a similar theme on the slogans. Everyone has been pretty impressed with the success of it and the fact we’ve been able to set this all up ourselves.
“Who knows where it might take us but we’re hoping to continue it beyond the school term. It’s a bit soon for Dragon’s Den for us but it is a possibility in the future.”