Each September Mrs Curran who is our Head of Business Studies invites year 12 students to take part in the Young Enterprise Company programme. The scheme is very popular which results in a number of teams being entered.
Young Enterprise is the opportunity for young people as a team to manage and run their own business over the period of a school year. The students must work as a team to design, plan and produce a product and/or service. Each member has an individual role such as Marketing and Sales director and it is their responsibility to run this part of the business. They must also work as part of a team to make collective decisions and see them through.
Each company has the opportunity to visit three trade fairs in Wellingborough Swansgate Centre, Northampton Grosvenor Centre and Milton Keynes Middleton Hall. The trade shows are long and demanding, but students gain a great deal in terms of customer services skills and interacting with the public.
We also encourage students to find smaller selling opportunities closer to school which is another means of increasing their sales and profit margin.
During the year each company must attend the area final. Here the team must plan and write a formal business report which is submitted to a panel of judges. They also prepare and deliver a professional presentation to the judges and audience to establish an overall ‘Best Company’. If a company is successful at area level, they move on to the County Final and repeat the whole process in front of another panel of judges and a new audience.
This process continues to regional, national and even international levels.
Southfield school has enjoyed a great deal of success over the years; over the past eleven years we have reached the county final ten times and the regional finals four times.
Young Enterprise requires considerable determination, energy and commitment. At the same time it is a very rewarding and enjoyable experience. Furthermore, Young Enterprise is recognised as an extremely useful qualification and experience to have on a CV or personal record for universities and employers to read.
Young Enterprise work directly with young people, their teachers and parents, businesses and influencers to build a successful and sustainable future for all young people and society at large. Through our hands-on employability and financial education programmes, resources and teacher training, we want to eradicate youth unemployment, help young people realise their potential beyond education and empower a generation to learn, to work and to live. Our mission is to empower young people to discover, develop and celebrate their skills and potential.
The Tenner Challenge is for young people aged 11-19 who want to get a taste of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. It gives them an opportunity to think of a new business idea and make it happen, using real money to take calculated risks in the business field, make a profit – and make a difference.
During this period young entrepreneurs are required to set up and run their own business for one month during the Spring term. Participants can work individually or as part of a team. Each student is ‘loaned’ £10 by Young Enterprise in order to purchase resources and/or promote their business. At the end of the month students are asked to repay the £10 to Young Enterprise. Each week there are national competitions including best logo, best display stand, best pitch and best advert/poster.
For two years Southfield entered students from Year 10 into this competition. Year 8 students have participated in this academic year. One Year 10 team ‘Les Petites Fleurs’ were extremely successful. They won the award for best overall company in their age group and were treated to an overnight stay in London, complete with a trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the Rainforest Café and a tour of Google offices, which was an amazing experience.
Les Petites Fleurs designed and created handmade hair slides and hairbands using recycled materials which they obtained from a local charity shop. They donated their profits back to the charity, so it was a win-win situation all round.