Sure is celebrating 40 years of supporting one of the island’s most recognisable initiatives for young people: the Young Enterprise programme.
As well as financially supporting the programme, Chief Executive of Sure Guernsey is a judge at the “Dragon’s Den” style event and finals night, which sees him select the very best participants the competition has to offer.
The Young Enterprise programme seeks to encourage secondary school-aged students to venture into the world of business. Anyone aged between 15 and 19 can enter and participants are put into teams to test their business leadership skills. They are tasked with coming up with their own company and making real-life business decisions, such as electing board members, raising share capital, creating a marketing plan, managing the company’s finances, and even creating their product or service.
This year, the competition is mixing up the formula to inspire new innovations and a competitive spirit. For the first time, competitors will go head-to-head in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event where teams pitch their ideas to Justin and area board members. This filters competitors down from teams of eight to four. The final four will then be able to take part in the programme, start their own business, and work with a business advisor as in previous years.
Recently area board members met with last year’s winners of the Guernsey competition JobLab to praise the team before judging this year’s intake.
CEO of JobLab Rhiannon Mallard said: “Creating a business was a very stressful but fun learning experience. During the Young Enterprise programme, our team developed skills such as leadership, communication, organisation, and financial management. I personally gained insights on managing a team. If you are thinking of joining the next Young Enterprise programme, I say do it!”
Chief Technology Officer of JobLab Will Dereham said: “It’s been an amazing opportunity to learn new skills and gain real-world experience of running a business. I think there’s a lot to gain from the Young Enterprise programme, and it’s amazing to watch your business grow from an idea to a working product.”
Justin Bellinger commented: “We were blown away by the level of innovation and professionalism demonstrated by the young businesspeople at JobLab. Their company recognised a need within a specific target demographic, and they met that need with an intelligent solution built on hard work and innovation.
“Sure has been an integral part of the Young Enterprise programme for four decades, and I am proud to be a part of that journey. The programme aligns with our goal of keeping islanders connected, as it encourages students from all walks of life to collaborate, communicate, and cultivate exceptional business ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing what this years’ intake have in store for us. After the work of JobLab last year, the bar of quality is very high indeed.”
The main image shows the panel at the Guernsey Young Enterprise ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event. Left to right, Pauline Marquis, Tim Wainwright, Justin Bellinger, Joseph Blake, Karen Wickham, Clive Davies.