A student from Boxford, who is part of a team entered in the Young Enterprise Scheme, has created a product aimed at tackling personal safety.
Colchester County High School pupil Ellis Fenwick helped to produce StreetSmart, which is now on sale as part of a leading business initiative to equip students with entrepreneurial skills.
The small 15cm bag contains a fluorescent arm band, torch, personal alarm, ID information and a list of top 10 safety tips.
Ellis said the idea came about after a spate of attacks in the Colchester area when they were brainstorming ideas last October.
“We researched these type of safety packs and discovered there was a gap in the market,” said the 16-year-old.
“Due to the unfortunate recent events in Colchester, we thought we could create a product that could make a difference.
“We wanted to make a product that could include most of the general public from students to the elderly.”
After deciding upon their product, the group of sixth form students met with an officer from Essex Police who gave them expert tips on staying safe.
Ellis said the group have had positive feedback after they began selling the product for £5.99 at school events.
As part of the Young Enterprise Scheme, the product could compete against other teams’ initiatives, both nationally and internationally.
First, it will have to go up against other schools in the region before it can take on the best in the country.
In 2010, the school’s enterprise teams won the national finals and came second in the European finals.
Ellis said the process had been hard work on top of studying for her A-levels, but said the team was proud of what they had achieved.
“It is a really good product and we would like it to do well,” she added.
The youngster, who has hopes of studying medicine after sixth form, said being part of the scheme had given her an insight into the world of business.
“I have definitely learnt a lot of new skills,” she said.
“It has given me the opportunity to work on my skills and build my self-confidence.”
As part of her sales and marketing role, Ellis has interacted face-to-face with customers, both in terms of selling and market research – something she said she would not have had the confidence to do five months ago.