THIS year’s participants in Inverclyde Council’s award-winning personal development programme for young people, The Recruit, have got off to a great start, breaking all previous records on "The Entrepreneur Challenge”.
The budding entrepreneurs enjoyed great success on the task, returning a record combined profit of £3,750 after being split into five teams, awarded a small business start-up grant and told to start a business and make money. The only stipulation was that business ideas were legal, moral and achievable within the six-week timeframe.
The teams rose to the challenge developing a diverse range of ideas and sourcing products locally, nationally and via the web at the most competitive prices. Items selected ranged from handmade jewellery and bath bombs, to cake, confectionery and wrist bands.
Winning team Zenith. Back row, from left, Rebecca Shelton, Andrew Murray, Mauro Mazzoni and Ryan Neilson, and front row, from left, Emma Fox, Lucy Begley and Nicola Campbell
Teams then pitched for sales opportunities at local events such as Port Glasgow Comet Festival and Gourock Highland Games, local fetes, businesses and in The Oak Mall. The winning team "Zenith” returned a profit of over £1,200. All profit made during the task is being given to programme charity, Ardgowan Hospice.
Education and Communities Convener, Councillor Terry Loughran said: "This challenge allowed participants to unleash their creativity and, through research and development, deliver a business idea to fruition.
"In an ever-changing economic landscape, good team working, problem-solving, time management and communication skills are vital and this task has taught the teams important life lessons that will help them to get ahead and succeed in the future.”
Thirty-five young people from Fifth and Sixth years in Inverclyde’s Secondary Schools have signed up for what is the sixth year of the programme. Devoting up to 500 hours, they will hear from top business personnel, entrepreneurs and undertake a number of challenges including writing more than 20 business reports, delivering more than 15 business presentations and visiting many local businesses to undertake tasks.
The winner – decided on performance, attitude, potential, personal drive and determination and employability skills – will land a job paying up to £14,000.