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Students show they have a head for business at fair

"There is no better way to learn business than by doing business with the help of a mentor and adviser."


Arthur Mapletoft from the Federation of Small Businesses meets Emerge Designs, winner of the Mystery Shopper Award

Young Enterprise, the charity which supports the development of business skills in schools and colleges, had its Trade Fair in the Arndale Centre at the weekend.

Produce on offer included own-produced music CDs, vinyl record fruit bowls and clocks, Valentines gifts and a range of colourful items for mobile phones.

The budding entrepreneurs came from Sussex Downs College, Cavendish School, The Causeway School, Willingdon Community School, Ratton School and Lindfield Special School.

The ‘Young Enterprise’ business programme supports groups of students to run their own company including raising finances, producing and selling goods and holding regular Board meetings.

Students are supported 
by a teacher with business skills and an external business adviser – someone who is, 
or has, run their own company.

The Federation of Small Businesses has chosen Young Enterprise as its charity partner this year and the East Sussex region has embraced the relationship with relish. Arthur Mapletoft, pictured, local Vice Chairman, is on the Young Enterprise Board in Eastbourne and Wealden and gave encouragement to the youngsters throughout the day.

There were three awards on the day.

Longman Logic from Willingdon Community School won Best Trade Stand and Breakaway from Lindfield Special School won Best Customer Service.

Young Enterprise also employs a ‘mystery shopper’ to judge the all-round performance of each business on the day and the best rated stand was ‘Emerge Design’, also from Willingdon Community School.

Mr Mapletoft said, “Today is a great day for the children. There is no better way to learn business than by doing business with the help of a mentor and adviser.

“I have seen tremendous support given by Young Enterprise, the link teachers and the business advisers.

“All of the young people are organised, working as a team and selling with confidence, all of which will benefit their chances of getting a good job in the future.

“And some, the FSB hopes, will sooner or later run their own business and enjoy the freedom, profits and support to the community that this brings.”