A GROUP of school girls have created their own business selling sustainable products made out of natural coconut shells.

The eco-friendly business, Kioko, was created by a group of students from Oxford High School for girls as part of the Young Enterprise competition.

Kioko uses coconut shells to create products such as bowls, candles and hanging baskets.

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Young Enterprise is a nationwide competition that provides young people aged 15 to 19 with the opportunity to set up their own real company while they still attend school or college.

The company is run by managing directors Shreya Verma, 16, and Lizzie Caird, 16, both from Oxford.

Banbury Cake: Kioko, Young Enterprise Team, Oxford High School. Coconut bowls for sale.Kioko, Young Enterprise Team, Oxford High School. Coconut bowls for sale.

Lizzie said: "Everyone brainstormed all sorts of ideas and we planned out what we wanted to keep central to our ethos.

"We wanted to do something that was creative as well as sustainable, so found this gap in the market with coconuts, and we developed our ideas by looking at other coconut-based products."

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The team of 16 has already won a competition because of their product branding, however, the students are keen to enter more in the future.

The business is now tackling how to run successfully online over the lockdown period as its weekly meetings can no longer be held in a classroom.

Shreya said: "We are using Google Meet now, as we can't meet in the classroom.

"We have quite a big Young Enterprise Team which is great as we all have different ideas, but it can be difficult to meet online.”

Banbury Cake: Managing director's, Lizzie and Shreya of Kioko. Oxford High's Young Enterprise team. Managing director's, Lizzie and Shreya of Kioko. Oxford High's Young Enterprise team.

The team is now reconsidering its whole business strategy in order to continue making orders while obeying lockdown rules.

Shreya added: "The impact of the pandemic, and especially lockdown now has had quite a big toll on how we run because obviously everything is hand-painted so now we have to rethink our plan."

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Lizzie said: "Running the company virtually is a challenge, but we are working on it. We are working on a new plan as previously we hand-delivered."

You can see the products by visiting the company's Instagram page @kioko_ye or its Twitter page @kioko_ye.

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