The entrepreneurial efforts of 80 students from schools in Rickmansworth and Dacorum have been celebrated in the first stage of the national Young Enterprise competition.

Ten student teams from local secondary schools took part in the charity’s in the area finals at Flaunden Village Hall on Monday after taking part in a Young Enterprise scheme to set and run their own businesses for a year with the help of business mentors.

Students from  teams Jinja Co and Outside the Box, both at the Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth, were named the "Best Companies" and will now go through to the next stage of the competition - the Hertfordshire Final on Tuesday, June 10, at Hertfordshire University.

Among the other award winners were Catalyst from John F Kennedy School in Hemel Hempstead who won the Endeavour Award and Vivid from Rickmansworth School, winning the Best Trade Stand Award.

Outside the Box manufactured their stock of bespoke storage boxes out of recycled wood and impressed the judges with their marketing efforts and slogan: "Putting your things Inside the box!".

Students from Jinja Co established connections with communities in Africa, importing and packaging silk pyramid tea bags in a wide range of flavours which they guaranteed to be of "high quali-tea".

Thomas Cullis, Young Enterprise Business Manager for Dacorum and Rickmansworth, said: "More than 250 teenagers from across the Dacorum and Rickmansworth area have taken part in the Young Enterprise Company Programme this year and set up a total of 21 businesses with help from local business volunteers.

"The standard was very high and my particular congratulations go to the two companies which have now been voted the best of the best, as well as those participating from Rickmansworth School, John F Kennedy School, and Berkhamsted School. I wish the winning students luck in the next stage of the competition.

"The Awards highlighted how Young Enterprise can inspire young people to become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow and help them develop practical business skills while they are still at school.

"I want to thank all the students who took part in the Area Finals for their hard work this year and to our sponsors of this event, VocaLink, as well as our award sponsors RSK Group and Asda."