YES They Can!

The Young Enterprise Scheme is an experiential learning experience where students run a business for a year. However, this isn’t just a longer, ongoing Market Day where students sell food any opportunity they can get!

In class over the next couple of weeks CMM301 students will be signing a formal, 9-page company constitution outlining everything about their business from company name, to who can buy shares, how profits are divided and who has voting rights at meetings. Once their companies are formally registered and they have received an official company certificate, they have to open a bank account from which all company payments and receipts will pass through. They have to find business mentors to help them with a range of aspects such as developing technical prototypes, marketing campaigns and media contacts. This is a national competition, and they are competing with hundreds of other high school students for $25,000 worth of prizes. This year there are around 400 students in the Wellington region alone!

I went into last Friday’s Period One CMM301 lesson without much of a plan. Friday is always YES day, and this was to be their first formal meeting. On Wednesday the CEO’s were given meeting agenda and minutes templates and they set an agenda for a meeting during today’s lesson. I had thought going through their agenda would keep them engaged for the first half an hour maybe, but after that they’d need guidance about what to do next or where to take their business. I had printed up some SCRUM board templates to use with Post-Its to keep track of tasks that needed completing, and had these for them to start putting tasks on as well.

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Instead it was me with nothing to do and very few questions to answer. Every company went straight to it and worked solidly for the whole hour. The lesson started with some very unhappy CEO’s when they saw there were team members missing when the bell rang. Instead of the usual “aw they’re just wagging, Miss”, they were visibly annoyed their classmates were not there ready for their meeting. One group conference-called a sick team member to get their feedback after discovering that was the reason for the absence.

It’s still early days,  but I can already see being involved in YES is pulling my students out of their comfort zone, while at the same time giving context to their learning. I can’t wait to see what else they can do! Feel free to stop in to A2 any Friday Period 1 to see what we’re up to, and keep an eye out for information about product launches!

 

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