What Young Enterprise is About
I have returned home this evening from spending an entire Sunday helping the Development Manager for Young Enterprise look after some 80 students in the Northampton Trade Far for Young Enterprise. This was made up of 11x Young Enterprise companies selling their company products to the public in the Grosvenor Centre in Northampton, a truly nerve wrecking experience for the children but yet such a fantastic learning experience.
Despite coming home from a 10 hour shift that started from carrying in and setting up the stands, through to looking after the wellbeing of the children and coaching them in techniques to approach passing trade, me feet ache, my legs ache, my back is killing me, and I am utterly exhausted. Yet I had a fantastic day and am looking forward to the Milton Keynes trade fair in January. There will be arund 100x trade stands at tha event, and some of the children I spoke to today and fired up and really looking forward to then.
From my own experience I have found when volunteering for Young Enterprise the children are extremely receptive to larning new skills in challenging new environments. This not only true for the oler children, such as those who were involved in the trade fair today (ages 15-17), but just as much with the Primary School children I spent the day teaching last week aged 9-10. These projects give them interesting new challenges that they my not usually find in the traditional school curriculum, and they are learning about teamwork, math, presentation and so many other skills without even realising it.
Whilst walking around checking they were all OK (and at one point scaring off a hoody who had his eye on what he thought was the Young Enterprise Development Managers laptop) I would frequently ask the students how the day was going, what sales they had made, and what profitability that gave them. Enouraging their math skills, asking how their marketing was going on, pointers to improve their stands, encouraging them when they got cold shouldered by some shoppers.
To see the energy these students had in their products, in their company, and for the small number of teachers who turned up their teachers enthusiasm in their students was really inspiring. I have no doubt in my mind that these children have come away from today’s fair much richer for the experience, and wth much more knowledge of how to improve their sales pitches, their pricing, their presentation and communication skills, and perhaps more importantly their confidence. I also met some children who so clearly have a fantastic future in front of them, who I have every confidence will do very well for themselves.
I may be exhausted, I ache from head to toe, I’m going to sleep like a log tonight, but I also feel so alive. I played an important part i helping the primary children last week learn about working together, teamwork, and communication, and why the countries of our world need to all work together. Today I helped many more children learn more about business, about life skills and so much more, and feeler richer in myself for it too.
That is what Young Enterprise is all about, and that is why I believe every Entrepreneur should volunteer for Young Enterprise and show their knowledge and experiences with the Entrepreneurs of tomorrow.