BUDDING entrepreneurs will be putting their business heads on to compete in the first stage of a national competition.

Ten teams from Herefordshire schools and colleges will compete to take home the top prize of Best Company 2014 in the National Young Enterprise competition on May 1 at Hereford College of Arts (HCA).

For the past year the teams have been working to set up and run their own business and local paralympian, Sascha Kindred OBE, will present a selection of awards to the students.

Kirsty Sockett, the Herefordshire Young Enterprise manager, said: “The Herefordshire area finals mark the first stage in a national competition to find this year’s Best Young Enterprise Company.

"The students will showcase the products and services they have developed in the past year and will be grilled by our expert panel of judges who will be scrutinising their business reports and profit margins.”

“Setting up their own companies while still in school gives young people a unique real-life experience of business and enterprise and gives them invaluable practical skills that prepare them for the world of work.

“We’ve seen some great businesses set up by young people in Herefordshire this year and I wish all the students the best of luck.”

Products and services created and sold by the county’s Young Enterprise companies this year include performance workshops, paper lanterns, wooden products, a cupcake recipe book and a board game, with a Braille version also created.

A range of other awards are also up for grabs, but the winners of the Best Company Award will go forward to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire County Finals on May 8, where they will compete for the chance to represent Herefordshire and Worcestershire at the Young Enterprise West Midlands regional finals on June 10 at Coventry University.

Wendy Tolley, business development manager at HCA, said: “We wish all the teams the best of luck, and congratulate them on their achievements so far. They’ve all learned skills that will be invaluable to them throughout their careers, and Young Enterprise is hugely inspiring to those who take part.”

The awards are sponsored by the City of Hereford Rotary Club.