Young Enterprise Company Programme
I had a really enjoyable couple of days with teams from the Hertfordshire Young Enterprise this weekend. I had been asked to join the Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield District Council (WHDC) Cllr Lynne Sparks and Rachel Walsh also of WHDC to judge a mini competition linked to the youth company programme. Sixteen enterprising school student companies had been invited to come and set up trade stands to test their entrepreneurial and business skills.
The teams have been learning how to run real a real company that they have set up themselves, with help and advice from local business volunteers. They have had to elect a board of directors, raise share capital and learn about how to market and finance their chosen product or service.
I was fascinated by the ingenuity, passion and different approaches taken by each student company and always their desire to improve and succeed. Each company had a very different approach from designing and manufacturing products themselves or having other carry out this task to bulk buying products from overseas rebranding and re-selling. One student company came up with the idea of having a recipe book full of simple recipes from top London Restaurants. They had had to contact the restaurants, get permission, check recipes actually worked, design a book and have it printed. Wow! Other companies had designed and manufactured a new style chopping board made from sustainable bamboo, several different phone chargers and phone charging bracelets to unique range of handmade scented candles to name just a few.
It really was a privilege being invited to judge, the bar was very high and it was extremely close between the teams in several of the categories, we certainly had a tough debate to decide who should win. The feedback from the students endorsing the value of this program was also heartening to hear, with particular reference to effective teamwork, and commercial acumen.
I am looking forward to keeping in touch with the programme and find out who goes through to the regional final.