IT WAS business as usual at the YES Borders Company Programme finals recently.

With the aim of helping young people realise their potential, the YES Company Programme is delivered across an academic year for S5/S6 pupils.

Students learn about the essence of enterprise and develop a wide range of skills such as problem-solving, communication, resilience and organisation.

With real world business management experience, each student commits to a role within the company, working together to meet the objectives they set themselves.

Local chair Chloe Purves said: “The whole ethos of the Programme is learning by doing, with a much broader focus than just the traditional measures of business success.

"It provides an opportunity for the practical application of the learning which has been undertaken in the school.

"We felt it was really important to give Borders’ students the opportunity to take part in this national programme and have enjoyed a successful year.

"We would like to encourage all Borders’ secondary schools to take part next year.”

This is the second year the Programme has run in the region, with the number of companies registered doubling to eight from last year - three from Kelso High School, three from Earlston High School, one from Eyemouth High School and one from Selkirk High School.

The programme was sponsored by Borders-based business angels, TRICAPITAL.

TRICAPITAL Chairman Jamie Andrew, who was part of the judging team, said: "It’s tremendous to see young Borderers developing practical business skills through this innovative programme.

"I’ve been highly impressed by the teams’ creativity, hard work, strategic thinking, financial judgment and professionalism, as well as their products and presentations.

"Business innovation is the lifeblood of the local and national economy, and it’s great to see the Borders’ entrepreneurial spirit in action with this new generation.

"The future is in good hands! Congratulations to the teams and to Young Enterprise Scotland for such an inspiring programme.”

As well as operating the business and aiming to make a profit; the students had to battled it out for six category awards: Best Trade Stand, Best Report, Best Interview, Best Presentation, Best Digital Presence and Borders Company of the Year.

Michael Kerr, managing director of Kan-i, winner of the Borders Company of the Year 2019, said: “We were shocked but really thrilled to win Borders Company of the Year, in addition to the two other categories.

"We’ve learned so much about the highs and lows of running a business. It was hard work but today has made it all worthwhile.”

The winner of the Borders Company of the Year will go forward to the national final, held in Edinburgh in June.

The 2018/19 category winners:

Best Report – NeWave, Kelso High School

Best Interview – Kan-i, Earlston High School

Best Trade Stand - NeWave, Kelso High School

Best Digital Presence – Deimos – Earlston High School

Best Presentation – Kan-i, Earlston High School

Borders Company of the Year – Kan-i, Earlston High School