BUSINESS-savvy teenagers put their creative talents to the test as they flaunted their latest inventions.

Almost 300 teenage entrepreneurs packed into Templars Square Shopping Centre to entice passers-by with their newest ventures on Saturday.

The fledging tycoons, from 16 schools across the county, took to the Cowley centre as part of the Young Enterprise programme - which challenges students to form their own companies and battle against each other.

Glistening jewellery, vinyl clocks, unique gifts and colourful mugs covered more than 20 stalls at the Trade Fair as students lured customers towards their creations.

Cherwell School student Lin Zimba, of team RED - which stands for Read, Enjoy, Dream, said she was pleased teammates ‘smashed’ their target, selling 15 of their handmade books within hours.

The 17-year-old, who has been assigned as managing director, added: “The day was great. Everything from the front cover to the back cover has been created by us.

“We are going to keep on going. I’m so inspired right now to go home and set up my own company and have fun.”

Students from a total of 29 Oxfordshire schools, representing 42 teams, are taking part in this year’s Young Enterprise programme.

Each team elects a board of directors, raises funds by selling shares in the company and creates a product or service to sell.

Supported by business mentors, they will learn about shareholders, profit and loss, as well as marketing.

Students will liquidate their company, presenting an annual report and accounts at the end of the year.

Abingdon School student Lance Wilson was one of the budding traders who flaunted their new inventions in the Pound Lane shopping centre between 9am and 4pm during the weekend event.

The 15-year-old, from team Mirage, stood proudly with his teammates as they presented their hologram generator and virtual reality headset.

He said: “I really enjoyed it. It was really nice to talk to people and ask them what they thought of our products so we can build on it.”

Young Enterprise manager for Oxfordshire Alison Pexton said students could win the chance to compete in a regional final, as well as the UK and European finals of the competition.

She added: “The event was really good. The students get so much [out of the experience] - their confidence levels increase significantly just by taking part.”

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith, who stopped by at the event, said: “It was great to see so many young people from Oxfordshire schools and colleges taking part in the trade fair. 

"Their business ideas and skills at making and selling products were first rate.  This enterprise initiative is a great addition to their regular school subjects, and they were clearly enjoying it as well as learning from it.  I feel sure we have some budding entrepreneurs amongst them.”