Young Enterprise offers a wealth of practical ways to help young people from four to 25 get a taste of the world of work and the excitement running a business. The hugely successful programmes are based on the principle of “learning by doing.” They inspire young people to develop aptitudes and attitudes that they cannot learn from a textbook or traditional academic curriculum.
Farrah Ahmed, Stansted’s Customer Experience Manager, tells us of her experience…
When you are asked to volunteer you never really know what you are putting yourself up for! But I was happy to raise my hand to offer help to a local school or college working with students on a business idea. It’s a great opportunity to further develop my coaching skills and give something back to the community.
So plans were made and I was off to meet a group of 15 to 16 year old boys who have been tasked with setting up a business to make cash to fund a further project. An excitable and energetic group lead by Tom, after introductions of the team they set to task of updating me with their ideas. Over the weeks they learnt to bond and communicate with each other the plan and design while I constantly challenged them constructively to ensure they had considered the market for their product along with profit and cost.
A valuable experience for me, the key highlights were supporting the team for their winter trade fare in Ware, watching them in action pitch and sell goods they had designed and produced. A few awards were up for grabs, the team managed to bag an award for best Customer Service, result! There first real business venture being a success and making money. Key question: Would I do it again? yes I would.
Would they do it again? Let’s ask…
“Being part let alone being MD has been such a great experience. We all learned so much, how to work with our peers and be productive in teams. As leader I learned a lot about how to motivate the team and how to approach and execute decisions. We sold out all our stock of Christmas cards at Ware trade fair and within our school. On behalf of Zephyr, we would like to thanks Farrah Ahmed for her huge contribution to the organisation and guidance she volunteered to the team, we couldn’t have succeeded without her, and would love to do it all over again.”
All in all a job well done!
Cast study 1
The airport is offering business advice to a group of students from Hockerill Anglo-European College in Bishop’s Stortford as they set up a firm for a nationwide Youth initiative. Students are helped to form and run a company as a part of the ‘Young Enterprise’ programme. Iris, the company set up by the young entrepreneurs, sold trendy woolly hats at a number of public trade events. IRIS is competing with other local schools on the programme and will run until the end of the academic year.
Case study 2