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Young Enterprise celebrates 50 years in Chatham

Young Enterprise, the organisation that gives students a hands-on feel for business, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding in Chatham.

Since Sir Walter Salomon came up with the idea, one million 15-19 year-olds have taken part in the charity’s flagship Company Programme. It has since spread across the nation and overseas.

They think up a service or product, develop, market and sell it, and produce accounts. Some ideas have been introduced commercially. Many former YE participants have gone on to successful business careers.

Sir Walter’s son William, YE president, said: “I know that if he were alive today my father would be extremely proud of the legacy Young Enterprise has created for young people in the UK.

“As well as giving young people the skills and knowledge they need, Young Enterprise gives them the confidence to be independent individuals with a thirst for success that characterises all the best entrepreneurs.”

To mark the golden anniversary, this year’s Kent final is returning to its roots by being staged in the Pilkington Building, Chatham Maritime, on May 1.

Research has found that YE alumni are twice as likely to end up running their own firms as their peers. Their businesses have a larger turnover, are more likely to employ people, are more innovative and their owners are more resilient in surviving the recession.

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