Company Programme

Students with their tradestand taking part in the Young Enterprise Company Programme. Credit Mark Hills

Our Company Programme: Try the ultimate business challenge out for size

1,000,000 young people have run a real business for a year with Young Enterprise

Target age group: 15-19
Length: one academic year

Under our flagship Company Programme students find out what it’s really like to set up and run a business.

Delivered across an academic year, young people make all the decisions about their company, from raising the initial share capital through to designing their product or service to selling directly to customers and ultimately winding up the company and paying their taxes. All this takes place with the support of a Business Adviser who brings a wealth of business knowledge and expertise to the team.

Students can also choose to set up their business as a social enterprise, which focuses on addressing a social need rather than maximising profit.

Young Enterprise helps teachers embed practical business skills and the government’s statutory guidance on careers advice in the curriculum. A number of exam boards map Company against a range of their qualifications.

This renowned programme has been running since 1963 and in that time over a million 15-19 year olds have taken part.

The Company Programme culminates in the UK Final which this year featured 14 teams battling it out to be crowned UK Company of the Year and to go on to the JA-YE European Final.

Why choose this programme?

  • Develop key employability skills: 90% of young people know more about the personal qualities that employers consider as important (Company Programme Impact Report from 2014/15)
  • 93% of centre leads would take part in Young Enterprise Company Programme again and would recommend it to others (CP Impact Report)
  • Can be run flexibly in curriculum or as an after school activity
  • Supports a range of qualifications and University entrance

Key features

  • A dedicated website called YE Online to help students, centre leads and advisers manage their companyScreenshot of YE Online, our website for Company Programme students, displayed on iPad
  • Comprehensive support materials and training
  • Public liability insurance and legal structure provided by Young Enterprise
  • Participate in trade fairs and sell to the public
  • Take part in local competitions with the opportunity to compete at regional and national level
  • Students take part in self assessment at the beginning and end of their Company experience
  • On completing the programme students can join our UK wide Alumni network.

Supports the school curriculum in the following areas:

  • Careers
  • Contributes to a students’ study programme
  • Provides a real life context to support business studies and applied business awards

Supports the Welsh Curriculum:

  • Careers and the world of work
  • Personal and Social Education
  • Provides an introduction to the enterprise and employability challenge element of the Welsh Baccalaureate
  • Business Studies

View further information on how this programme supports good career guidance, employability and enterprise education.


Not quite ready for Company Programme?

Then check out Launch Pad – our brand new programme for 14 – 19 year olds which provides an ideal introduction to Company Programme over the course of a full or half day.


Want to know more?

Request more information about our programmes

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