London Students Show Their Entrepreneurial Talents at the historic Old Spitalfields Market
Secondary school students taking part in Young Enterprise’s flagship Company Programme in London set up trade stands and sold their products on 6th February at the historic Old Spitalfields Market.
The event, sponsored by Delta Air Lines, saw young entrepreneurs selling innovative products including an inventive bike light, a wallet designed to prevent fraud and packages designed to promote wellbeing.
Young Enterprise is a national charity that motivates young people to succeed in the changing world of work by equipping them with the work skills, knowledge and confidence they need. Company Programme, Young Enterprise’s flagship enterprise education programme, sees students across the country set up and run a real business or social enterprise over an academic year.
Young Enterprise research shows Company Programme participants develop key employability skills and a longitudinal study of Company Programme alumni has shown that in the two years following their company’s closure, 94% are in education, employment or training [EET] – 7% higher than the national rate.
Students across London have made all the decisions about their business, from deciding the company name and product, to creating a business plan, managing their finances and selling their products.
The companies were judged by judges including Jeff Moomaw from Delta Air Lines and BBC Apprentice stars Sajan Shah and Ross Fretten. The winning teams were:
Most Innovative Product – Titanium 22, who sold creative shampoo capsules from Surbiton High School, Kingston
Best Trade Stand – Gold Stars, a ‘Team Programme’ team, a version of Company Programme modified for students with special educational needs, who sold cards and gifts from Pield House, Hillingdon
Best Sales Team – SureLight a team from St. Paul’s School, Richmond who sold an innovative bike brake light
Best Overall Company – RaySafe sold protective decals for electronics such as phones and laptops, from St Paul’s School, Richmond
Jeff Moomaw Delta Air Lines and Judge, said:
“Delta believes in nurturing talent to help young people develop the skills they need to become the business leaders of the future”
Phil Danter, Business Adviser for Westminster Kingsway College and owner of Danter Consulting said:
“Company Programme is a brilliant offering for young people and its impact on some of the students I’ve worked with has been absolutely tremendous. The confidence developed in selling their product, and then going on to present it at the competition later in the spring, is inspirational to witness – and for many of them it can be a window, or a door, into a whole new world for them. YE works with all different kinds of schools, and that’s what makes Old Spitalfields such a great day – everyone all working from the same starting point, learning together and trying to make that sale.”
Michael Anderson, Young Enterprise, London Regional Manager said:
“As well as giving the students a hands-on, practical experience of running their own business, Company Programme is an excellent way for them to discover transferrable employability skills they never knew they had. From shy students transforming into fantastic sales people, to people who’d never considered themselves a leader becoming a successful Management Director – we see some pretty inspirational journeys every year. Days like the Pan-London Trade Fair at OSM give the student companies the opportunity to trade alongside real, professional traders, honing their sales techniques along the way and hopefully – although not always – turning a profit by the end of the day.”