We teamed up with the DICE Project to give young people the opportunity to design and create a product and trade with the public. The DICE Project, supported by the Big Lottery Fund, provides community-led youth projects to 10-16 year olds across North Down.
The project kicked off with a weekend residential in Lorne House that brought together students from five schools across the Holywood and Bangor area. Students from Bangor Academy & Sixth Form, Glenlola Collegiate, Movilla High School, Priory Integrated College and St Columbanus put their business skills to the test in order to come up with a profitable Halloween-themed product. The ‘overnight entrepreneurs’ started four companies, developing skills for life and work through this hand-on enterprise experience.
The project culminated with a trade event at Bloomfield Shopping Centre over Halloween weekend. Students were delighted to sell out in the first hour, proving that the market research they carried out and their product design were both an important part of the success.
One of the students taking part in the enterprise project said: “Through setting up and running our business, I learned that you have to work as a team to get anywhere”. Another student explained: “I learned that to run a successful business you need to have good organisational skills and my favourite part was speaking to customers”.
Carol Fitzsimons, Chief Executive at Young Enterprise NI commented: “It is fantastic to team up with the DICE Project. Their values align closely with those of Young Enterprise, as our work ensures that young people develop the right skills to be prepared for life and work in the post-education world. Collaborative projects such as this help to develop the essential employability skills that give these young people a higher chance of securing employment in the future.
Recent OECD research highlights the importance of building entrepreneurial mindsets in young people, so that they are more open to the possibility of business start-up or self-employment in the future, as this is likely to be a feature at some point in the future careers for this generation.”