Sweet taste of success

First published in Campaign News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

A TEAM of young entrepreneurs enjoyed the sweet taste of success when they took part in an enterprise challenge to raise funds for community project work.

The five Year 11 leavers taking part in a Prince’s Trust project were given the challenge of developing and manufacturing a product which they would then sell to members of the public.

The 16-year-olds from Haughton Academy in Darlington, who also received help and support from Foundation for Jobs, made cakes which they then sold at four major employers in Darlington last week.

The young people taking part in a Prince’s Trust XL club summer school delivered through Stockton Riverside College made more than £140 from the sale of around 160 cakes.

The money will be used to fund the young people’s involvement in a community project serving visitors at Killhope Mining Museum, with a proportion also donated to a local charity within Darlington Borough.

Part of the aim of the challenge, which saw them sell cakes at Cummins Engines, The Student Loans Company, The Northern Echo and Darlington Borough Council was to enable the young people to develop skills and knowledge they would require in the real world of business, including the best time and place to make sales.

During their business planning the young people believed it would be best to sell by going into the businesses at a time arranged in advance with the firms.

They also divided the cakes to make sure they would not run out before reaching the final firm.

Team member Tamsin Uzzell said: "I thought it was better to go around the businesses. One of the best things was learning about the timings of when to go to a business and it also showed that running your own business doesn’t have to be really complicated."

Her colleague Sinead Abbs said: "It helped show me I am good at customer service and that I had business acumen.

"I was better at it than I expected to be, it went really well and I enjoyed it."

Fellow participant Catherine Vincent added: "I have learnt that you can make money from doing anything , it cost us £20 for materials and we have made a healthy profit.

"I have also found that running your own business scan be an enjoyable experience, I was right in there raring to go."

Natalie Walsh, Prince’s Trust team leader at Stockton Riverside College, said: "I think this process has shown them what is achievable and that running your own business is not something that only high profile entrepreneurs can do.

"It has shown them that anyone can do it if they put enough hard work into it."

Foundation for Jobs, launched in January, is a joint initiative to tackle youth unemployment involving Darlington Borough Council, The Northern Echo and the Darlington Partnership, of public and private sector organisations.

An important part of the campaign is to give young people a taste of business and entrepreneurship while still at school.

For further details on the campaign contact coordinator Owen McAteer at owen.mcateer@darlington.gov.uk or find us on facebook at darlingtonfoundationforjobs.

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