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01 April 2015

Supporting Young Enterprise

Cara O'nions,
Marketing & Customer Insight Director,

As long-term supporters of Young Enterprise, VocaLink this week participated in two live competitive evenings where teams of students from local schools competed to qualify for the Hertfordshire county finals in April.

The flagship secondary school ‘Company Programme’allows and encourages thousands of students to find out what it’s really like to run a business. Students form teams and run their own companies across an academic year – they elect a board of directors, sell shares, create, market and sell their products direct to the public. They are supported in this by a business advisor from a local company, which is where VocaLink provides support as their Rickmansworth location is neatly placed to support both the Watford and Rickmansworth/Dacorum regions.

The student teams have been busy selling to the public for several months. But this week, it was time to put their ideas to the test as the teams submitted business reports and presented to a panel of judges at the live events.

On Monday 23rd March,  VocaLink hosted the Rickmansworth area final where 12 student companies competed for two places in the Hertfordshire final. Jim Wadsworth joined the judging panel and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The students set up their trade stands in the staff restaurant where they were grilled by the panel. This was followed by formal presentations in front of a large audience in the VocaLink Boardroom.

Cara O’Nions, Marketing and Customer Insight Director at VocaLink judged at the second competitive live event for the Watford area on Wednesday 25th March hosted at KPMG offices, following the same format.

Says Cara:

“It was fantastic to see evidence of such great passion and commitment by these young people. The energy in the room was infectious and the live events reinforce the need for businesses like us to do all we can to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.”

VocaLink has supported the Young Enterprise organisation for a number of years. We have done this by hosting events, providing senior managers to give talks on enterprise and entrepreneurship and to join judging panels. Most importantly, we have recruited and trained large numbers of volunteers to mentor students in local schools who have taken part in the Young Enterprise secondary and primary programmes.

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