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Young Enterprise Students Kick Start Business Ideas…

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St Augustine’s Young Enterprise team.Young Enterprise (YE) students from St. Augustine’s Catholic High School are forging ahead with business thanks to the support they’ve received via Redditch multi-temperature distributor, Oakland International, who having released key personnel as part of their Oakland Foundation charity activities, are working with the students throughout the academic year as they help them develop their YE company and personal business skills.

Explaining the rational in supporting the scheme, Business Support Manager, Lian Higgitt, commented: “Local business involvement in Young Enterprise is key if we are to inspire the next generation of young entrepreneurs and business leaders. By working with the students we can share our knowledge and experience, as well as offer advice and guidance, with the long term aim of leaving a lasting impression which we hope will make a positive and real difference to them in the future.”

With weekly support and email contact from their volunteer mentors of Lian and her colleague Lynsey McIntosh (Oakland International’s General Manager), the fourteen students have established their business and are learning to manage their company ‘Just InCase’ which produces customized mobile phone and IPOD covers and accessorizes, and will work with them to develop their all important marketing skills to help drive sales.

Young Enterprise Manager, Julia Neale, stated: “Business Volunteers like Lian and Lynsey are vital to Young Enterprise as they engage and inspire young people to develop real skills, attitudes and behaviours for entrepreneurship and employability. With business support it helps to empower young people in the community and across the UK with confidence, ability and ambition to succeed in business and help them to get ready for work.

“Volunteering with Young Enterprise can contribute to business staff development as it boosts motivation, coaching skills, improving self confidence and contributing towards professional development. It also fosters a sense of community engagement and brings young peoples energy and fresh thinking into business. Students taking part in Young Enterprise acquire vital employability skills, such as the ability to work as part of a team, a willingness to demonstrate initiative and original thought, and self-discipline in starting and completing tasks to a deadline. These softer skills are what employers are crying out for, and are crucial in enabling them to create new businesses that are essential to Britain’s economic revival.”

Lian and Lynsey’s work with the students forms part of their personal Management Development Programme activities, designed to put their core skills in to practice.

Lian added: “It’s the first year I have been a mentor, and not knowing what to expect was a little daunting at times but I have pushed myself to encourage and energise the group. It’s also great to share ideas and thoughts and to be a part of something right from the very beginning. We hope to motivate and provide a real taste and understanding of business, and open their eyes to the many opportunities available to them when considering their future careers.”

The UK`s leading Enterprise in Education charity, they work with 3,500 businesses and over 5,000 schools, colleges and universities. Information on how you can get involved is available at www.young-enterprise.org.uk with programmes from introducing primary schools to the world of work, to inspiring teenagers to think about their financial futures and how to set up a business. Interested in getting involved? You can contact Julia by emailing Julia.neale@y-e.org.uk

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