BELFAST High students took part in a trade fair for schools at the Tower Centre, Ballymena recently as part of a Young Enterprise programme.
With advice from local business volunteers, the pupils taking part in the initiative have to set up and run a business to manufacture and sell products to learn about running a business first-hand.
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.
At the end of the year they liquidate the company and present a report and accounts.
A wide range of products were on sale at the trade fair - the next step in the Company of the Year Competition - including Christmas cards and innovative handmade gift ideas.
Judges from the local business community were on hand to evaluate each company, and this evaluation, along with the interviews the students will undergo to pitch their company, will help determine regional winners in May 2012.
The Mayor of Ballymena, PJ McAvoy, and local MLA Robin Swann also visited the trade fair to witness first-hand the entrepreneurial spirit amongst the young traders.
“Young Enterprise plants the seed for future enterprise, leading to job creation and sustainable business,” commented Laura Kerr, senior development manager at Young Enterprise.
“We are delighted that so many schools have participated in this event, and by the support that the local traders and shoppers have demonstrated at the Tower Centre.”
Young Enterprise Northern Ireland is building an interconnected world of young people, business volunteers and educators, inspiring each other to succeed through enterprise.
As Northern Ireland’s foremost business and enterprise education charity, all its programmes are based on the principle of ‘learning by doing’, to promote a culture of enterprise from an early age.
All activities are delivered by fully-trained business volunteers from partnership organisations and supported by the Department of Education, and a variety of public and private sector organisations.
To find out more about corporate support or volunteering opportunities, contact Young Enterprise Northern Ireland on 9032 7003.