News & Events

Amazing students impress at packed House of Commons “Unleash the Potential” reception

Teams of young entrepreneurs tell their dynamic personal stories as new research highlights need for enterprise education

Parliamentary reception 24oct2013

MP Adam Afriyie and our CEO Michael Mercieca take to the stage

Conservative MP for Windsor Adam Afriyie hosted a hugely well-attended reception for us at the House of Commons where teams of young entrepreneurs dominated the show.

We presented compelling new research from Opinium supported by the Citi Foundationand Kingston University Small Business Research Centre in collaboration with the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.

Company Programme teams from last year exhibited their products and services at the event including Runcible Spoon from St Francis Xavier’s College in Wandsworth, Aurelia from Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School in Upminster, By Design from Bramhall High School in Stockport and Girl Power – the winning Team Programme group from Plumstead Manor School in Greenwich.

“Before I did Young Enterprise I was so shy I would never have been able to do this – talking to people and presenting. Now I can sell umbrellas in the rain…to people who already have umbrellas.”  

By Design  Deputy Managing Director Terri Lau

Adam said to the students: “As an alumnus I know this organisation does something special. Far from teaching facts at young people and testing them, it exposes them to the thrill and challenges of business. They ‘learn by doing’.

“This helps them discover the hidden talents they didn’t even know they  had and unleashes their potential.”

Two students from By Design addressed the audience; Managing Director Sam Downs and Deputy Managing Director Terri Lau. Along with five other students they have opted to continue their business post Young Enterprise.

Sam said: “I learned so much doing Young Enterprise. That business experience means I now have an edge over other students.

“Young Enterprise shows you you can do anything if you believe in it and you’re motivated.”

By Design – now Segue Books – Managing Director Sam Downs and Deputy Managing Director Terri Lau with Adam Afriyie

Terri said: “Before doing Young Enterprise I wouldn’t have been able to do this – talking to people and presenting. I was quite shy and I would hide behind the others at the competitions.

“But now I’m much more confident – it’s hard work but you gain so much from the experience.

“I once tried to sell umbrellas in the rain.. to people who already had umbrellas. But I still sold some! That was an achievement.”

James Endersby and Kate Watson from Opinium Research presented their findings on employability, and Dr Rosemary Athayde from Kingston University Business School presented her survey on entrepreneurial habits. You can find the full reports here.

Adam finished the speeches by saying to the students: “We were the future. Now it’s you.”

photo 2

Adam Afriyie with Runcible Spoon from St Francis Xavier’s College