Today, young people need to be more adaptable than ever before, prepared to change career direction in response to opportunity and to learn new skills throughout their working lives. In other words, they need to be enterprising.
Young Enterprise's Company Programme gives pupils each year the opportunity to prepare for this working life through the experience of running their own company, supported by volunteer Advisers from business.
Pupils in lower sixth set up and run their company over the course of one academic year. They elect a board of directors from amongst their peers, raise share capital, and market and finance a product or service of their own choice. At the end of the year they present a report and accounts to their shareholders.
Achievers gain experience of the real world, taking responsibility and being accountable to their shareholders for the running of the business. They attend Trade Fairs at which they sell their product or service.
Pupils are also entered in for the Young Enterprise Examination offering a recognised qualification (OCR accredited), and an annual competition to identify the top companies in the UK and Europe.
Benefits to students
As a result of running a YE company, pupils gain:
· An understanding of how a business works and how wealth and employment are created.
· The ability to work in a team.
· Improved communication skills.
· More enthusiasm and self-confidence.
· A willingness to take responsibility and initiative.
· Time management skills.
· Experience of key business functions such as marketing, financial management, sales, customer care and personnel management.
At the end of the academic year, the Young Enterprise companies have the opportunity to enter a competition that runs at local, regional and national levels. A variety of awards are at stake including the UK Company of the Year title and a trip to compete in the European finals.
The company present their company and the skills they have learnt through their end-of-year report, their annual trading and profit and loss account and balance sheet, an exhibition stand and a short presentation.
Judges look for innovative approaches to meeting the challenges of running a company. They also look for flair, creativity and enthusiasm at each stage of the judging process.
Young Enterprise Company 2011-2012
The year’s Young Enterprise group is called Noise. They have had an extremely successful year coordinating a concert in association with cool fm with the main act being Twist and Pulse, runners up of Britain’s Got Talent. They also recorded and sold DVD’s of the concert and the school play Bugsy Malone. Due to the success of the company this year they were able to pick up three awards at the NEELB heat including “Best Social Enterprise”, “Best Marketing” and “Company 25 Award”.