The Nescot canteen became a hub of entrepreneurial activity on Tuesday November 29 as fledgling businesses from around the local area set out their wares for the Young Enterprise Trade Fair.
The organisation brings together business and schools and the fair was part of its flagship Company Programme, which enables 30,000 15-19 year olds run their own real companies for a year with help from business mentors.
Groups from schools across the borough, including Glyn, Rosebery, St Johns, Blenheim, Therfield and Epsom College, arrived at Nescot ready to set up stall, display their produce and engage in some serious market research with their target audience of college students .
Companies ranged from eco friendly travel solutions to price-busting jewellery and Nescot students were extremely impressed with several of the stalls.
One company in particular, Nestra, set up by pupils of Therfield School in Leatherhead, won admiration from diverse groups of students and staff for their innovative usb wristband idea.
‘I think that’s a fantastic idea, you’d never lose it - really useful. In fact, I’m going to make sure I get one,’ said Nescot Student Matt Coyne, 19, from Ewell, who was so impressed by the idea he put in an advance order.
The fair was the brainchild of Nescot Governor and Lead Young Enterprise Advisor Jared Fox, director of investment banking business UKSF.
‘I am a passionate supporter of the work done by both Young Enterprise and Nescot and thought this was a chance to bring the two things together. It’s so important to give young people the tools to succeed in the workplace and both organisations are committed to teaching these vital skills,’ he said.
And as for the commerce-minded youngsters using the fair as a launch pad for market domination? All agreed that setting up and running a business was incredibly hard work but very exciting and had taught them vital new skills.
‘We were surprised to discover how different our customers opinions are to our own,’ said Natasha Morrison of Nestra. ‘It shows how vital it is to know about things like market research. We’ve all become more confident and organised and realise how important teamwork is to our success,’ she said.