Posted on Friday 29th June 2012
Move over Lord Sugar! Rhondda Cynon Taf’s budding business brains have been given the chance to put their entrepreneurial skills to the test, thanks to the Council’s groundbreaking Building The Future Together (BTFT).
Six young people from Cardinal Newman RC Comprehensive School were tasked with creating their own company and appointing corporate roles, giving them essential and important insight into the world of business which will help them not only in their studies, but also in their future careers.
Members of the team were Cameron Wells, 17, Elias Lewis, 17, Olivia Carroll, 16, Luke Williams, 17, Lowri Belson, 16 and Georgina Poulakis, 17 and they discussed their personal skills, before nominating themselves for roles within the company, such as Managing Director, Marketing and Communications Director and Company Secretary.
After selecting their company name ‘Cyfle’, the group had to raise enough funds to pay for their registration fee and design product. With Christmas fast approaching they decided to produce personalised letters from Santa; selling these at the Young Enterprise Trade Fayre in Cardiff Bay and to pupils and staff at school.
Following the success of their first endeavour, ‘Cyfle’ had to come up with another product, innovative enough to win at the Young Enterprise Awards. There were many ideas such as a Welsh Baccalaureate Politics tuition pack but agreeing on one venture proved difficult.
Eventually it was decided that the company should proceed with a social media marketing service which would enable local businesses to use the power of social networking sites to advertise and market themselves.
The team faced a number of hurdles; two members resigned due to the pressure of work commitments and it was revealed that a pre-existing company had already registered under the same name.
Despite this, they remained unfazed and motivated and the newly re-branded ‘Cyfle Mawr’ (Big Opportunity) took part in the competition, setting up a trade stand, delivering an impressive presentation and submitting a detailed business report, all of which were evaluated by judges.
Although the team didn’t come away with a trophy on the day, they made notable achievements and gained invaluable practical business experience in a competition that was both exciting and enjoyable.
Cabinet Member for Education, Skills, and Lifelong Learning, Cllr Eudine Hanagan, said: “Building the Future Together is a far-reaching scheme that allows young residents to secure the opportunities, skills and experience they need to thrive in whatever they are interested in, or whatever they want to get involved in.
“The entrepreneur challenge is yet another good example of this, allowing young people very real insight into the things that interest them, helping them to develop as individuals and boost their skills. The young people involved this year should be very proud of the remarkable achievements they have made.”
Luke Williams, Marketing and Communications Director for Cyfle Mawr added: “Young Enterprise helped me to develop life skills such as business techniques. It was a very valuable experience as this is what I want to do when I leave school.”
Managing Director, Cameron Wells, agreed; “The Young Enterprise has helped me develop as a leader and as a team member. I can gladly say that it has provided me with the skills to start up another business venture.”
The Council’s Building the Future Together scheme, part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government and representatives from Young Enterprise worked closely with the young people throughout the process, offering support and advice whenever needed.