Encouraging a spirit of ‘entrepreneurship’ is a buzzword nowadays, but the Young Enterprise Scheme has been running successfully at Notre Dame for 20 years!
Year 12 students take the running of their small business seriously. This entails identifying a niche product which is designed, manufactured and marketed to maximise sales. Each student has a role and all contribute to raising share capital, holding board meetings and paying dividends at the end of the trading period.
A member of staff and a business adviser both attend the board meetings in an advisory capacity, but the hard decisions and the selling of both shares and products are down to the students themselves.
In the last three years the products have been: customized mobile phone covers, zip up earphones, an app to help monitor receipts and handmade scented candles. In the lead up to Christmas, the Sixth Form area becomes a hive of industry as products are produced, packaged, sold and delivered.
Success has not been limited to profits; Notre Dame’s Young Enterprise teams have gained recognition at County level and won prizes such as ‘Best Trade Stand’, ‘Best Video@’ and ‘Company Most Likely to Succeed.’
This scheme develops skills in teamwork, time-management and leadership, all of which are highly valued by universities.