Young Enterprise is a national charity which specialises in enterprise education and financial education. It works directly with young people, teachers, volunteers and influencers to build a successful and sustainable future for all young people. One way it does this is through its student company programme which is aimed at students aged 15-19. These students are required to set up and run their own business with financial and decision making responsibilities. There is the option to compete against other schools across each county which progresses into a national then international competition if successful at the previous stage.
For the academic year of 2019-2020, Presdales competed with two teams; Parcel the Love and Hidden Treasure made up of students that were then in year twelve.
Parcel the Love started off with around fifteen company members however was soon cut down to just two members, Sofia Gibbins and Leanna Rhodes. Sofia acted as managing director, also taking responsibility for company finance, and Leanna, being the more creative individual, was responsible for the logo design as well as promotional and marketing activities. In the early stages of the business, it became clear that the overall objective was to share kindness and love therefore the idea of creating ready-made packages for special occasions came about. The boxes would make gift-giving stress free and simple but also allowed people to ‘pass all the love’ – understand the name now?!
The second company, Hidden Treasure, was most definitely a larger company, composed of 10 members and directed by Connie Marshall. It produced upcycled accessories such as earrings with the main goals of informing consumers of the dangers of fast fashion and the increasing amount of pollution created from it. To demonstrate this, the trade stand created by Hidden Treasure had various, shocking but real, photos of rivers swarmed with clothing and fabric dyes.
A major event that both businesses had to attend was Ware Dickensian Evening in December 2019 where both teams had to sell their product to the general public in the street. It was an incredibly cold night however there was triumph for both teams as sales were made, Parcel the Love achieved an award for best teamwork and Hidden Treasure won best trade stand.
A ten-page report had to be submitted by each team towards the end of the academic year, explaining various parts of the company including team journey, financial results, impact and legacy which was then judged by a panel of business experts and representatives of Young Enterprise. Unfortunately, neither of the teams from Presdales were the overall winning student company from Hertfordshire however Parcel the Love won Best Teamwork and Best Customer Service out of all the schools competing in Hertfordshire.
The students incorporated in the Young Enterprise programme at Presdales were very fortunate to work with Gill Thornton and Corrina Hartwig-Green as their business advisors who very generously gave up their own time to attend company meetings and external events such as Dickensian Evening. We thank them for their time and expertise!
It must be said that the Student Company Programme was an eye opening experience that greatly benefited us students. The students currently studying A Level business or economics were able to apply content from their lessons into a real life example and those students not studying these subjects were able to get a glimpse into the world of employment and business.
A massive thank you on behalf of the students goes to Mr Rock for organising this opportunity, Presdales for funding our start up fees, Gill and Corrina for their time and of course Young Enterprise for introducing this scheme.
Written by Sofia L Gibbins CEO of Parcel the Love