Scottish Dimension scoops Euro-prize

1st August 2008 at 01:00

The uk's best Young Enterprise company is in Scotland.

Dimension, based at Fortrose Academy, earned the accolade after creating products to reduce childhood obesity - and last weekend won one of Europe's top prizes.

The nine pupils in the company, aged 17 and 18, also impressed with their egalitarian staff structure and their determination to keep the business going after leaving school.

Dimension designed a fridge magnet and story-book to help children eat healthily - an idea that stood out amid trends towards environmentally- related products and companies offering services instead of merchandise. The company made pound;1,400, of which about pound;500 was profit.

The magnet has spaces for a child's name and the day of the week, and for recording the number of portions of fruit and vegetables they have eaten, alongside a section for the rewards that await once every day has been ticked off. The book, Handful for Harry, tells a simple story about a character faced with unhealthy food at school, as well as activities and recipes.

"Dimension's product stood out because it was so original," said Young Enterprise Scotland's chief executive, Stuart Miller.

"The fact that it addressed a real, social issue - child obesity - and attempted to do something about it was impressive. The pupils identified a gap in the market and created a product that could make a difference."

Dimension had a traditional structure, with a managing director, a finance director and a website director, but was unique in Scotland this year in deciding that all staff were equal. Although pupils found it difficult to keep business roles and friendships separate, the idea worked well and the company has a long-term future.

So far, the products have been sold in shops close to the school, but Dimension aims to expand across the country and to produce versions in French, German and Spanish.

Managing director Patrick Boyer, 17, said: "We are really excited about selling to the whole of the UK. Six of us are going to the same university from next year, so we plan to carry on the business."

The expansion plans helped the team win the FedEx Global Impact Award at the European Young Enterprise awards in Stockholm at the weekend, for its understanding of global business.

The HSBC Young Enterprise Innovation Awards required Dimension to compete against other regional winners from throughout the UK in London last month. The European awards pitted the company against national winners from 32 other countries.

- www.spanglefish.comdimension.

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