Jenny Butcher

Young Enterprise has enriched my working life in the same way that it did for my students

Jenny Butcher-tiff

Jenny Butcher, Young Enterprise Link Teacher at Oasis Academy in Coulsdon, Croydon, writes about her experience with the charity’s Company Programme.

Jenny Butcher was a pioneer in the fast-growing commercial environment of Croydon, a busy town-going-on-city just south of London. In line with Young Enterprise’s philosophy of giving enterprise opportunities for everyone, no matter what their background, she joined the local Young Enterprise board to ensure that State school pupils received the enormous inspirational push that Young Enterprise provides. Here’s what she had to say:


‘I joined the board of Young Enterprise in Croydon to represent State schools because, up until then, all the students who participated in the area were sixth formers from the independent sector. My school, then called Taunton Manor High, was the first State school and ours were the first Year 11 students, from the town to take part.

In Croydon we run the Company Programme by mixing students from all the schools involved to get a balance of backgrounds, ethnicity and gender.

A few students will know each other but otherwise it is as close as we can make it to a real-life experience of starting work with strangers. Companies in Central Croydon provide the venues and the indispensable voluntary business advisers to mentor young people.

The students love this scheme and I love the opportunities it gives to my students. They learn a great deal about the business world but they also learn a lot about themselves.

It helps to equip them with the skills that they are going to need at work and it also gives them the courage to think that they could run their own business.

Past students of mine are doing just that. Young Enterprise has enriched my working life in the same way that it has for the students.