Two teams of enterprising Wimbledon students backed by our experts for a year in business
It’s hard to imagine the business advisors at Morrisons Solicitors being quite so hard on the team as Sir Alan Sugar, but they did offer much friendlier guidance to girls at Wimbledon High School (http://www.wimbledonhigh.gdst.net) participating in a year-long Young Enterprise (www.young-enterprise.org.uk) project.
The competition encourages teams of school and college pupils from across Europe to set up their own business for a year.
Throughout the year, a group of ten business advisors from Morrisons regularly visited two business groups in the Lower Sixth of Wimbledon High School offering hints, opinions and (years and years of) wisdom.
One of the business advisors and Senior Associate Solicitor, Rebecca Fisher, said, ‘Morrisons wanted to get involved with the local community and Young Enterprise fits in perfectly with what we do.
‘There are a number of young people out there who don’t get access to professionals. The Young Enterprise scheme gets young people to think about business and find an area they may be interested in. It might be finance, marketing or sales. Plus it looks great on their CV; these are things that they can carry forward for the rest of their lives. It’s putting the building blocks in place.’
The two teams at Wimbledon High School were called Grow For It and Skinned. Grow For It, winners of most innovative product at the Sutton and Merton finals, sold pots with a herb seed in it. Buyers could then water it, see it grow and use the herb in one of the recipes provided. The other, Skinned, made and sold covers for iPhones.
Both teams had to open a bank account, write reports for their product and then sell them through the year. Once the year is over they close the company down, and hopefully they’ve made a profit (although if they didn’t it doesn’t matter).
The teams then embark on a series of local, regional, national and European finals. At the competitions the teams have a stand, and have to give a presentation outlining their aims, the problems they had and what its profits were. Morrisons was proud to sponsor the South Londonfinal. The winners of that final were Summitwho designed a pen that also sprays perfume. They also watched an inspirational talk by the pioneers behind Poncho No 8 (http://www.poncho8.com), a young, fun and innovative company that is about to open its third burrito restaurant and bar in the middle of SoHo.
‘It was really refreshing to see people enthused about starting a new business, overcoming hurdles and feeling as though are part of something new, having driven it forward and seen it become successful,’ Rebecca said.
‘It’s all rather doom and gloom in the current economic climate, but the display of innovation, drive and entrepreneurial skills makes for a rather bright future.’
Morrisons will be supporting Young Enterprise next year. For further information contact Rebecca Fisher on 020 8971 1020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org