We went along to Merkland School to learn more about the new company from pupils learning with Young Enterprise Scotland.
Merkland School provids education to young people with additional support needs and pupils were pitching for funds to develop their company, The Skinny Santas.Joanne Allison, staff member at the school said, 'In creating the 'Skinny Santas' Catherine and Tom have helped our young people develop many skills. They have emerged as a team and shown responsibility when required. They have learnt many things about running a business, creating the company, matching jobs to skills, advertising and market research. Their attitude to the task in hand has always been enthusiastic and positive and I can only thank Young Enterprise Scotland for giving the young people of Merkland School this enjoyable and worthwhile opportunity.'
The team was made up of a Managing Director, Accountant and Design manager, Production manager, Computing Supervisor and Advertising Manager. Ater conducting some market research the group settled on a number of bracelets as their products and set about making them all by hand. In order to capture the Christmas market order forms were given to everyone in the school and after using posters to advertise the products and gaining increasing popularity through positive word of mouth, the bracelets were flying off the shelves!
During a presentation where pupils pitched to members of staff for a loan of £120 to develop their company and increase their resources for producing more bracelets, the pupils covered issues like pricing and their products unique selling points. As a result the Head Teacher said she had 'no hesitation in awarding the stat up loan of £120'.
The feedback from the pupils themselves was also very positive. Allan, who had remarked at the start of the presentations that he now knew what stagefright felt like, overcame his nerves to deliver an impressive presentation. He said, 'I used to want to do things on my own a lot of the time but now I've worked in a team and I liked it. [The thing i've learned most] is patience.'
The profits made from the company will be put to good use with a small amount being put towards a celebration party for the young participants, a contribution being made to those students taking part in the Special Olympics and a donation being made to the school's chosen charity in Africa, Lowero.
When asked what they enjoyed most about the Young Enterprise Scotland experience the response was; 'the joy of knowing we are helping people with the money that's going to go to the Lowero charity.'
Our Vision is for Scotland to be a place where all young people are given the opportunity to have a rewarding future in work and life - no matter where they start their journey.
Our Mission is to inspire and equip young people, irrespective of their background, to learn, develop and reach their full potential through enterprise education.
In everything that we do, we will work with the following values: Integrity, Enthusiasm, Creativity & Collaboration.
Young Enterprise Scotland
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Rouken Glen Park