Students To Give It Some Umph! Date: 28/02/2014

Schools and colleges from across Yorkshire are signing up to take part in the region’s largest business and enterprise competition for 16-19 year-olds.

The Umph! competition, which is organised by a collaboration of businesses as part of Huddersfield Town club partner Grant Thornton’s ‘Educate to Innovate’ programme, takes place at the John Smith’s Stadium in July and is now in its fourth year.

The event has attracted an impressive line-up of entrepreneurs and inspirational figures, all of whom will be available on the day to share first-hand experience of the ups and downs of starting and running a business, with the students taking part.

Leading the entrepreneurial panel is Town Chairman Dean Hoyle and he’s been joined by several other leading figures from Town club partners including Nick Glynne of Buy it Direct; Managing Director of Stockleys Sweets Andy Needham. They will join polar explorer Mark Wood and other entrepreneurs at this year’s competition on 1 July.

All teams also get the opportunity to run their own businesses with the SimVenture online simulation tool, the results of which are then judged ahead of the final award ceremony. The winning team will be awarded a trophy and each team member will receive their own iPad.

Grant Thornton’s Head of Business Development, Sandra O’Neill, said:

“Umph! gathers more momentum every year and there is a real buzz among the students and teachers taking part because it’s become recognised as an opportunity not to be missed.

“What’s unique about the contest is that young people are able to meet real-life entrepreneurs from all backgrounds who started and now successfully run their own businesses. They can learn from them first-hand what that experience has been like. The face-to-face inspiration that real life entrepreneurs can give them is an invaluable and truly motivational.”

With 25 schools already signed up for Umph! 2014, the competition is still open to teams of budding young entrepreneurs, representing their school, sixth form or FE college. Teams can enter via the Umph! website at

Zhi Hui Zhao, a member of last year’s winning team from Greenhead College in Huddersfield, said: “Meeting entrepreneurs, who have started businesses from scratch, and made a success of them, was so encouraging. As well as giving us a much better idea of how business actually works in real life, it also gave us a clearer ambition that running a business is something that we could all aspire to do ourselves.”

Alongside Huddersfield Town, SimVenture, Bond Dickinson, Kirklees Council and Huddersfield University are also supporting this year’s Umph!