Students bid for business

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Budding entrepreneurs from Wetherby High School presented their business ideas and set up their trade stalls to busy shoppers at the Oastler Shopping Centre last Saturday.

After a successful trading day at The White Rose Centre, Leeds recently, where teams raised over £300 each, the youngsters saw another brisk day of sales.

Their mission was to attract passing shopper’s attention to sell their goods and learn valuable sales skills along the way.

The Trade Fairs are part of the West Yorkshire Young Enterprise programme, giving students the skills they will need in a career in business.

It’s taken months of preparation, studying and creative ideas to get to the point where the youngsters from Wetherby High School were ready to present their business proposition alongside other teams, with the chance to go through to national finals to be held in May.

Amir Hafidh, Area Manager for Young Enterprise West Yorkshire, said: “It’s a lot of work for everyone involved and we’re grateful to the volunteers, business advisers, teachers and staff who go the extra mile to give their time and energy to help these youngsters to achieve their business dreams and aspirations.

“It’s always worth it to see the enthusiasm and determination to succeed shown by our young people.”

The programme supports teams of students, helping them develop their commercial skills into viable businesses that are judged.

As well as producing business plans and providing financial information, each team has to attend a Dragon’s Den type interview and presentations, competing for local and national awards.

The students draw up business plans, create products and services, raise share capital, sell to the public at trade fairs and face fierce scrutiny from judges in several gruelling rounds of the Company Programme competition.

The competition, funded by HSBC, ends with a glittering final in London and the possibility of a trip to compete against the finest young entrepreneurs in Europe.

Young Enterprise was set up to give students the opportunity to learn essential business skills and to encourage entrepreneurship.

According to the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) eight out of ten British school-leavers “lack essential business skills” such as numeracy and more than 80 per cent of young people require “significant training” before being put to work.

The Young Enterprise programme tackles these issues, giving youngsters a head start on their road to a business career.