Delivered across an academic year, young people make all the decisions about their company, from raising the initial share capital to designing their product or service, selling directly to customers and, ultimately, winding up the company and paying their taxes. All this takes place with the support of one or more Business Advisers, who bring a wealth of business knowledge and expertise to the team.
Hurstpierpoint College has entered the YE company programme for many years and is a passionate advocate for the scheme. The programme is run by Jan Leeper, Head of Careers and Director of Pastoral Care, and Julie Lambert-Day, a business-adviser volunteer.
How did you become involved with YE?
Jan Leeper (JL): “My background is in business. I worked in the recruitment industry for eight years in London. I left to have children, and when my husband joined Hurst, I was asked to become involved in the YE activity. I’ve found it to be an amazing programme as it’s so real; it’s not just classroom theory.
Julie Lambert-Day (JL-D) has been working with Hurst for five years: “I’ve held senior Marketing roles as well as working as an independent consultant, and was approached by YE about becoming a volunteer adviser. It’s not always easy for companies to allow their staff to take time away from the office to support programmes like this, but the advantage of bringing professional experience to these young teams, is incalculable. When you’ve been in business a long time you can become quite cynical as you grow older.
“You’ve been around the block and you see the same things over and over again. Then you do something like Young Enterprise as a volunteer and you see the calibre of students, both in the state and private sectors; it is amazing, and they really blew me away. Their creativity, their complete enthusiasm and their ability to absorb and take in everything made me think, “Gosh, I must have been like that once.”
“As somebody who used to recruit a number of students and interns for my marketing teams, I would seek out students who had either done YE or Duke of Edinburgh, as they usually displayed a sense of pragmatism and wanted to be challenged and learn new skills.”