Students taught enterprise skills

A GROUP of pupils from across the Waveney valley are being mentored by leading figures helping them to develop skills needed to enter the world of enterprise.

A GROUP of pupils from across the Waveney valley are being mentored by leading figures helping them to develop skills needed to enter the world of enterprise.

Yes (Young Enterpreneurs Succeed) has given 30 pupils, chosen from more than 70 applicants, a unique opportunity to work with successful entrepreneurs through six modules designed to inspire and show them what they can achieve.

Through practical and innovative tasks, the pupils from Bungay High, Sir John Leman High in Beccles, Denes, Benjamin Britten and Kirkley High in Lowestoft, and Saint Felix School in Southwold will be taken on a journey of self-discovery with help from the best in the business.

Among the entrepreneurs is Lianne Miller, founder of Southwold skincare company Young and Pure.

She is starring in the BBC3 programme The Last Millionaire and really wants to inspire young people to follow their dreams.

During the course, the pupils will learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur, as well as develop their own skills. Many of them have already made steps into creating their own product or business.

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They will be put through a range of practical exercises designed to challenge them and allow them to see the range of opportunities surrounding them. The pupils will learn how to take risks, understand personal and corporate branding and create a team of people around them to build their business.

The year-long programme kicked off at the weekend when the pupils went to Finborough Hall near Stow-market to learn about working as a team, problem-solving and giving spur-of-the-moment presentations.

They took part in a night hike, raft building and crossing a river.

Beth Derks, who is behind the concept and co-ordination of the project, said: “At Finborough Hall we got them involved in team-building exercises and it was a chance for us to see what the candidates were really like. Some worked really well in groups and working individually seemed a bit scary, but it was good for them to find out their strengths and weaknesses.

“Many of them had already shown initiative in their interviews, but we wanted to see how they would differentiate themselves as individuals.”

Lianne added: “We needed to take them out of their comfort zone and see their character and how they coped. Life is about making a difference and thinking out of the box.”

Yes was originally the brainchild of Hazel Johnson, from Enterprise Lowestoft, who saw that the best way for young people to drive forward was to receive backing from successful entrepreneurs.

It is being funded by Shell, Lowestoft Together and the Learning and Skills Council.

Other entrepreneurs involved in the project are Erica Clegg, from Spring Advertising in Southwold, and Stephanie Harrod, of Harrod UK.

Top Tip for an entrepreneur:

Lianne Miller, right, says: “This weekend of bonding and teamwork was a good indication of individ-uals' strengths and weaknesses. Tip: Know what you are good at and build a team around you who are better than you in areas you don't enjoy!”