Networks, a team from St Aloysius' College, has won the HSBC 15th Young Enterprise Company of the Year Award. Rafiki of St Edward's College and Touch Wood of Junior College placed second and third, respectively.

The winning company was announced late last night at the HSBC Young Enterprise Competition Finals at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, which this year included Young Enterprise Malta's 15th anniversary celebrations.

Minister for Youth and the Arts Jesmond Mugliett presented the award to the winning team, and HSBC's head of Marketing, Godfrey Swain, presented the winners and runners-up with a plaque to commemorate their success.

This year saw 18 YE companies from various post-secondary schools taking part in this 'Learning By Doing' experience. The students set up their own company, chose their product or service, manufactured it and sold it to the public in local and foreign trade fairs.

The teams were shortlisted to six during the semi-finals night held on Thursday evening. The other three semi-finalists were A-Maze, representing Junior College, N-Ergetix from St Aloysius' College and Chrysalis from Junior College.

HSBC Bank Malta plc also presented the Best Business Plan award to Networks.

Various other awards were presented on the night. The Best Stand at the Trade Fair Award - Networks.

Networks also won the Humanitarian Award and the Most Innovative Product Award.

The Award for the Best Use of Technology - Mercury from De La Salle College.

Rafiki won the Award for the Best Implementation of the Marketing Strategy.

A-Maze won the Best Financial System Award.

Touch Wood won the Best Quality System Award.

The Best Product Award was given to A-Maze. Touch Wood was also presented with the Most Popular Team Award.

The John Harper Award, awarded for determination and perseverance, was won by YoungStars, a team from the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology. This award was presented by YEM chairman Michael Cutugno.

In his speech, Mr Cutugno spoke about how during the past 15 years, YE developed from a hands-on entrepreneurial exercise into a web of learning by doing experiences, not only for the participants but all those involved in YE.

He thanked the many supporters who have contributed towards the success of the organisation since its inception in 1988.

Networks , the winning team, will now be competing against another 35 teams at the Young Enterprise European Company of the Year Competition, being held in London on Friday.

Maltese teams have fared exceptionally well in this competition, with four wins in the past ten years. The 2002 Young Enterprise European Company of the Year Award was won by Mixables, a Maltese team who represented the country in Paris.

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