Young Enterprise Students Demonstrate Entrepreneurship at Area Final
Starting in September 2015, nine groups of students from six Reading Schools elected to work with Young Enterprise as an extra curriculum activity in order to set up and manage student companies within the Young Enterprise Company Programme. The teams of 10-20 students established the company, decided on a company name and products to sell. They have learnt about team work, the need for tolerance, trust, delegation and most importantly effective communication skills to ensure a successfully managed company. They assigned a Manager Director and department roles e.g. Sales, Marketing, Finance, IT and HR roles within the company. Each company traded with its own bank account including full management of its Income Statement and Balance Sheet, incorporated as subsidiaries of Young Enterprise. Rather than being a business game the students participated in the real business world, dealing with suppliers, identifying markets, selling products and managing customer needs. Each team was guided by a Business Advisor volunteering from the local business community who visits the team on a regular basis. Support is also given from teachers within the school.
The finalists consisted of 6 of the original nine teams. They attended the Reading Area Final presentation evening on Tuesday 15th March at the Shehnai ballroom on London Street. For the final they had to design and set up a trade stand, produce a full company report, present their products and company to the audience as well as answer questions from the judges.
The attending student companies were:
- Element, from the Abbey School
- Instinct, from the Abbey School
- Luna, from the Abbey School
- Trailblaze, from Kendrick Academy
- Polyphonics, from Reading Blue Coat School
- Cace, from Reading Blue Coat School
- Dahlia, from St Joseph’s College
The evening was a great success with very visible skill development of all the teams, a massive growth in understanding what makes a successful business, how to work effectively as a team and some even made a decent profit!
The following teams were judged winners in the categories noted and presented with awards on the evening:
- Environment award, for the most sustainable approach to business was awarded to Dahlia
- Best Sales & Marketing, for the most innovative sales and marketing plan was awarded to Element
- Best pitch award from a Dragons Den event earlier in the year was awarded to Instinct
- Best Business Plan, for documenting the intention of the company was awarded to Instinct
- Best Presentation at the Area Final was awarded to Cace
- Runner Up to the overall winner was awarded – Element
The overall winner, sponsored by Big Yellow Self Storage and presented by the Mayor of Reading Cllr Hacker, was Instinct from the Abbey School, who now go on to represent Reading in the County final on the 3rd May.
The event was supported by a panel of local business men and women – John Grimes, Owner of Drummond House Developments, Paula Elliot from C8 Consulting and Dawn Belcher, ASDA Store Manager; along with an inspiring presentation on how to be an entrepreneur from Stuart Morris, Serial entrepreneur and founder of The Great Escape Club.