This year Bishop Fleming will be supporting a number of schools across the region as they take part in the Young Enterprise Company Programme, in which teams from participating schools set up and run their own YE company.

We will also be providing six Business Advisers.  These are staff who give up some of their time each week to mentor and support a team taking place in the programme, and we know from previous years that this is an extremely fulfilling and enjoyable way for staff to become involved in their local communities.

In many cases, staff have taken part in Young Enterprise themselves at school, and then a few years later have had the opportunity to volunteer as a Business Adviser, and ‘pay it forward.’

Having been a Business Adviser myself, I know very well the extraordinary challenge that the students take on as they develop their product, market it, identify the right social media channels and bring it to market, all in time for the Christmas trade fairs.

And it’s not just the students who learn; mentoring young people when they are under pressure gave me fresh insight into how to help people to work through new situations, and help them to reach a positive result.

Over the year our Business Advisers will be sharing their experiences on this site, so watch this space, and be sure to keep an eye out in your local media for Young Enterprise events that are happening in your area – you might find a bargain.

At the most recent Spring Fair, one of the school companies had developed a ‘kangaroo towel’ (a giant overhead beach towel with a waterproof pocket). It didn’t sell particularly well on the day; it was one of the most expensive items at the trade fair, but as a keen sea swimmer (I’ll share some more on that later) this has been my purchase of the year. Innovative, unusual, in the true spirit of enterprise, and it keeps me warm even in a north-westerly!

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