Entrepreneurship, profit & teamwork: The King’s Young Enterprise Group
Theatre-goers were taking second glances at the student-made calendars on sale in the interval of our school musical last term. The watercolour paintings of Canterbury that decorate the pages, courtesy of the hand of Catherine Chen (Jervis, 6b), make for a product that wouldn’t look out of place on a major high street retailer’s shelves.
Just by looking at it, few would guess it was the fundraising product of a school Young Enterprise group to raise money for upcoming projects in the New Year. The group is the King’s branch of a national scheme to get young people interested in business. Led by Managing Director Eoin Pickstone (School House, 6b), it comprises 18 pupils who all have individual roles in the operations, sales, finance or marketing teams.
Students gain practical skills from the projects that will help their employability and UCAS applications. “It’s good for teaching you how to approach different situations and staff,” Head of Marketing Beth Swindin (Jervis, 6b) explains. “Teamwork is crucial.
“We meet for an hour and a half during every activities slot, and we’ve recently added in a directors meeting on Mondays during long break. But it’s one of those activities where you have to do a lot around the activity period. So we spent a weekend at the musical selling, for example.”
Their time has to be used efficiently in order to coordinate the manufacturing and distribution of their products, which frequently involves liaising with outside businesses.
“For the calendars, we had to investigate and approach individual printers and ask them for quotes, how long it would take, and then put in the orders,” Eoin says. “We also went to a lot of different market stalls around the area so we had to email the people who ran the markets asking if we could set up a stall.
“And within school, we had to contact the people running the musical asking if we could get involved there. So we’ve had to organise that all ourselves.”
The pupils have thrown themselves into the business, having each put in up to £5 of their own money at the start of the project. They will then divide up the majority of their total profits between them at the end of the school year, with a small percentage going back into the scheme.
“We care about making money because we all invested our money to get these things made,” Eoin continues. “So it’s my fiver at risk, and it’s my return when I get 20 quid or whatever at the end of it.”
After the success of their calendars, Eoin and the team have started drawing up plans for their main product which they intend to be more wide-reaching, hoping to appeal to those outside of King’s from all different backgrounds.
The rest of the school community will be waiting with intrigue to see what the talented group creates next.
Read more about Co-Curricular life at King’s here.