Young Enterprise at the Academy

In business: Fiona Mitchell (Fit Like), Jess Murray (Deco) and David Walls (Bottle It)
In business: Fiona Mitchell (Fit Like), Jess Murray (Deco) and David Walls (Bottle It)

Young Entrepreneurs at Inverurie Academy have been extremely busy selling their products as part of the Young Enterprise ‘Company’ Programme.

Once again, three Academy teams are preparing for the ultimate goal of winning a Young Enterprise award at regional, Scottish or national level.

The Company Programme involves students in S5 and S6 setting up and running their own company over the course of an academic year. They elect a board of directors from amongst their peers, raise share capital and market and finance a product or service of their own choice, thus learning about all aspects of business such as market research, finance, sales, production or service provision, customer service and HR. This programme is supported by a volunteer Business Advisor who mentors students through the year at regular company meetings.

Taking full advantage of potential Christmas trade, the teams have been out and about at various selling events. The Herald caught up with the three teams who had all but sold out on their various stalls.

Bottle It, with David Walls as MD, made candle holders and tumblers out of recycled bottles while Deco made wallets, purses and wine bags.

The third team, Fit Like, didn’t go into the manufacturing side but after extensive research bought in a range of products to market and sell to the sporting fraternity.

Throughout the year the various companies sell their products to friends, colleagues, family and capturing the Christmas Market, they took up a stall at Westhill’s Ashdale Hall and traded the following weekend at Belmont Street Market.

David Walls said: “Our products are quirky and unique so they attract attention and people are curious as to how we do it.”

Both Deco and Bottle It used raw materials that were recyclable waste products which meant minimum capital outlay. He said: “All we have to buy is the candles, the cork base and the packaging. At Westhill we won a prize of £125 for being the best product and the best team overall so our bank balance is healthy at the moment.”

Deco’s MD, Jess Murray said they spent their money on uniforms rather than on raw materials, which paid off because they won ‘best stall’ at Ashdale Hall, but they had to learn their craft. She explained: ”All our products are made of recycled or upcycled materials - we use donated fabrics and we came to school even on in-service days to make our products. Some of the mums taught us how to sew.”

Non-manufacturing company, Fit Like concentrated on marketing rather than manufacturing with their range of bought in products to “make exercise more enjoyable”. MD Fiona Mitchell explained: “We’ve done a lot of market research and followed a lot of surveys to get a product range to sell on and we’ve managed to get our products into Garioch Sports Centre where they are doing well.”