Mrs Wright takes up the story:
A key objective of our ever-successful Young Enterprise teams over the years has been to experience just what running a real business involves. Our students learn about leadership, problem solving and creativity first-hand. They achieve this by setting up a business from scratch, raising the necessary capital for investment in equipment, purchasing raw materials and operating a profitable business. This opportunity usually gives those involved a reasonably tough, eye-opening, experience. Since I started helping our students some 14 years ago, there have been many boardroom battles and at times, some “blood on the carpet.” Our teams generally start with a lot of enthusiasm and little by way of skills. They finish the year well-rounded individuals who are thoroughly employable or able to start their own business. They become skilled and reliable, mature and resilient: in short, a shining example to their peers.
Then, along came the pandemic. Our 2020/21 team, Suffolk Schooners, decided to batten down the hatches, and set sail. They did this in spite of knowing that the challenge of setting up and running a business this year of all years was going to provide even more challenges. George (MD) and Sophie (Deputy MD) took charge. What a great team they made: serious decision makers but always willing to laugh when things became difficult or went a bit wrong. The team had a few fall by the wayside, but all credit to Kit, Grace, Jade, Elsa, George, Ashleigh, Tom and Ruby who stayed fully committed.
This week our intrepid entrepreneurs competed in the semi-finals for the East of England. This required a virtual approach to competing. All the usual components were involved, providing a written company report, being interviewed and providing a presentation of their highs and lows of the year. I’m delighted to report that they are one of two teams that won and will take part in the regional final on the 20 May: an exceptional achievement in such difficult circumstances. Now it’s all fingers crossed for a fortnight’s time.