The Young Enterprise Company Programme is designed to help prepare young people for work by developing transferable skills that would be an asset to any business.
Lecturer Rob Cherry said: “The Young Enterprise Company Programme has given our students a great opportunity to bring learning to life through enterprise activities.
“Our business students really gain value from the business advisors meeting and mentoring them through the process and helping them bring a business idea to life and putting what they learn in their studies into practice.”
The teams firstly think of the business idea, make the product, create the website and then sell the product. Student Callum Smith is part of a team who have created their own brand of T-shirts, he said: “We have always wanted to make a clothing brand. Young Enterprise is a great opportunity. It is like having your own business for a year. We wouldn’t have done it otherwise. It is great that we know our audience well and we have really enjoyed the project.”
Advisors come in, volunteers from different businesses in the South West, and provide support and advice to the students. Kevin Park from Ocean Housing and Belinda Waldock from Oxford Innovation are the business advisors this year.
Business Development Manager at Ocean Services (SW) Ltd, Kevin Park, said: “In my opinion Young Enterprise bridges the gap between education and business, giving young people the opportunity to experience the world of commerce: working to a strict time schedule, taking responsibility, making decisions and accounting for those decisions.
“Above all it provides experience in the many layers that lead to creating a financially viable business. I had to learn the hard way in business as my own school was focused too much on academic achievement and it’s very rewarding to be able to encourage the enthusiasm and innovation which Young Enterprise inspires.”
Young Enterprise is the UK’s largest business and education charity. Every year they help 250,000 young people to learn about business and the world of work in the classroom.
Business coach and project manager at Agile Innovation, Belinda Waldock, said: “Young Enterprise is a great programme for students to experience what it’s like to be an entrepreneur and the fantastic opportunities that it can offer, especially in Cornwall where employment opportunities are limited.
“I am delighted to be able to support teams from Cornwall College again this year.”