From shabby chic to survival kits – students from schools and colleges in South Yorkshire will showcase their products at a special business event at Frenchgate this weekend to launch Doncaster Business Month.
Young people from schools in Doncaster, Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield have taken part in a business programme, run by education charity Young Enterprise, forming their own companies and selling products.
The student-run businesses, selling items such as upcycled furniture and novelty survival kits, will be selling their wares in Frenchgate on Saturday 2 February. Each business will then be judged on their customer service, presentation and products, with an overall winner named on the day.
Haggai Mwiko, South Yorkshire Area Manager at Young Enterprise, said: “I am really excited for the young enterprise companies from the South Yorkshire area taking part in the Doncaster Frenchgate Trade Fair – it's a fantastic opportunity for them to develop the skills and gain the experience needed to set up and run a business.
“I personally took part in Young Enterprise when I was younger and, as a result, it built my aspirations and gave me the confidence to set up my own successful businesses.
“I would like to thank Frenchgate for hosting this event and giving an opportunity for these young people to participate as it will be an experience they will never forget.”
The programme provides students with key life skills, including communication, initiative and organisation. to help them become more employable in the future.
Melissa Flett, UK HR Director at Polypipe and one of the panel judging the businesses, said: “Polypipe has worked closely with Young Enterprise for many years, predominantly supporting its flagship Company Programme – empowering students to develop their entrepreneurial business skills while enhancing their confidence, resilience and adaptiveness, which potential employers seek to recruit.
“Young Enterprise is known for developing a pipeline of exceptional students prepared with the skills needed ready for the world of work.
“I have personally found working with the Young Enterprise team very rewarding and fulfilling to be able to watch the emergence of teams with innovative ideas, exceptional accounting acumen and leadership skills, all evidenced as part of the programme. Connecting students with industry at its very best!”
Karen Staniforth, Assistant General Manager at Frenchgate, said: “What better way to kick off Doncaster Business Month than providing the future entrepreneurs of South Yorkshire with the opportunity to showcase their skills.
“There is such a diverse range of products on offer and it’s been fantastic to see the enthusiasm the students have shown during this programme.
“We look forward to holding this wonderful event at Frenchgate and encourage all of our shoppers to come along and purchase something unique from one of the stalls.”
The event will launch Doncaster Business Month, increasing awareness of Doncaster as a place for business to trade and grow, culminating in the Doncaster Business showcase on Thursday 28 February.
For more information about Young Enterprise, visit https://www.young-enterprise.org.uk/.