Encouraging Sixth Formers To Become the Next Entrepreneurs

September 21st 2017

I enjoy Desert Island Discs especially if I have been up long enough to have started doing something useful like baking.

This week, I caught the words Sevenoaks School and I pricked up my ears. English filmmaker Paul Greengrass – best known for directing Matt Damon in the Bourne action thriller series and more recently Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips – described the school as being hugely influential in his life by giving him the opportunity to make films.

Recently, we have been involved with Sevenoaks school. We were introduced to 20 sixth form students by Derek Brown from Entrepreneurs in Action.

Derek connects schools with businesses by asking us to provide sixth form pupils with a real-life business challenge in return for the pupils to be given the opportunity to present their findings to the team.

My challenge to them was to present some ideas as to how we could better attract young people to work at LEYF. I wanted them to look at the whole recruitment process through the eyes of a young person and give us some advice.  They worked together and presented with confidence and aplomb. Look at their presentation video to see how impressive they all were.  What was evident is they took the task seriously.  They worked in functional groups such as Finance, Social Media, Marketing and Technology.  They were led by Juliette who was allocated the role of CEO.

The outcome was very pleasing so much so that Juliette, Max and Cameron all stayed for a further week of work experience! And work they did, completing allocated business tasks including implementing some of their suggestions. And I am happy to report that Juliette has written a nice review about her time with us, it’s great to see students who take the time to give feedback. Thank you, Juliette!

What was the lesson for us?  Never underestimate the ‘yoof’ [sic]! They are smart and focused and a lot cheaper than a bunch of consultants. There is a great social enterprise Livity which has built a marketing business on the principle of having young people as the people who can comment best on things they buy.  It’s a smart approach and one that gets my approval.

My challenge to readers of this blog is this – give young people the opportunity to view your organisation through the lens of youth, you won’t be disappointed; in fact you may even be delighted. Read more about working with Entrepreneurs in Action