Our final day of Global Entrepreneurship Week has landed us at Walworth Academy for an Enterprise-in-a-Box session.
We took two teams on the journey of making a profit while at the same time helping people and the planet by selling ethical products. Young people received a box of 17 environmentally-friendly Seedboms and were trained on how to sell and promote their business by our Education Officers – students will decide on strategy and pricing.
In a few weeks they will be presenting their profits and results of their business plan to their peers and Simon Hughes MP who is visiting our next session. From customer relations to marketing, we will see what skills they have learned in their their very first enterprise experience.
“This was really useful because some students might not always make the right career choice so having these skills can help them turn their lives around. I want to restore classic vehicles or be an engineer when I’m older with my own car business. I already know the skills I’ll need; business, mechanical, design, painting and communication. I really think this workshop was great especially because of the product we will be selling, it’s recycled and will help the environment.” Jack, 14
One group had a lot of Sunflower Seedboms so decided to market their Poppy and Thyme Seedboms at a higher price while the other team thought it would be a good idea to make leaflets and post them through doors of people with gardens.
What did the teacher think?
“It’s really good to bring MyBnk in for enterprise because it’s different, we did it last year as well and it was really effective because MyBnk are so supportive of the school, they make the young people feel really comfortable and they interact well with them, the students here today are doing business studies so this will contribute to their unit 1 assignment and will lead them on to creating their own business plans which MyBnk sets the tones for.” Alicia Pennant, Business Studies teacher.
“It’s good to teach enterprise to young people because it gives us the skills to start our own, even if you end up not doing that in the future it is worthwhile. I’ve learnt you have to be persuasive and confident when selling, we have more Sunflower Seedboms than the others so we’re going to price these lower and have the poppies and thyme more expensive, it’s all about deals! I think I’d like to have my own business in the future and I enjoyed the MyBnk workshop because it’s different to what we do in class, it gave us the chance to do something for ourselves.” Millie, 14.
November 22, 2013 in Uncategorized |
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The fourth day of Global Entrepreneurship Week has took to our youth-led microfinance scheme at Forest Gate Community School.
MyBnk-in-a-Box sees students running their own saving and lending scheme. At today’s opening around 40 students arrived to deposit their money, on average depositing between £1-£2. It was buzzing with energy as young savers deposited their money and the MyBnkers swiftly aided them in their savings journey - around £100 was banked!
“I love being a MyBnker, I love being able to handle the money and all the maths involved. I want to have my own business when I’m older because I’m inspired by my dad who owns Eastern Travels. If I had to improve an invention that has already been made I think I’d want to make a waterproof laptop.” Ajmain, 13.
“We’ve had about 40 people deposit today and I love it! The school really inspires me and working as a MyBnker has made me want to open up my own bank when I’m older.” Nazifa, 13.
November 21, 2013 in Uncategorized |
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Yesterday we met young people who were just starting their journey to becoming social entrepreneurs, On Day Three of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we meet the finished articles at Ark Academy, Wembley!
In part one of Enterprise-in-a-Box, each team of pupils was given 17 environmentally-friendly Seedboms to sell. They were trained up on the best selling techniques and learnt all about social enterprise and they then went away and attempted selling for themselves.
Two weeks later they present back to their peers on what they learnt and how much money they made with powerpoints, roleplay and posters.
“I think this is important because not everyone wants to be a doctor or an astronaut, some people will need these skills to start their own businesses. I learnt you have to be helpful and considerate to your customers, we split the Seedboms equally between our group so we all had a chance to sell some and we made £49! I really enjoyed it.” Heba, 12.
Students said they learnt new skills such as selling techniques and how to deal with customers as well as improving their communication skills while selling their Seedboms. They had creative ways of presenting back to the class and reflecting on what they had done well and needed to do better if they tried the project again, some students even saying they plan on continuing to sell their Seedboms, one even came up with her own slogan for when she sells, ‘damp and dreary to fun and bright’.
The six teams altogether made a whopping total of £151.60!
“I think teaching social enterprise is important because it is a skill that people can use in the future, you need to listen carefully and pay attention to everything and plan ahead! You also need to know everything about your product before you try and sell it and MyBnk taught me this. I’ve enjoyed it a lot and I’d recommend other schools to give it a try!” Mohamed, 12.
November 20, 2013 in Uncategorized |
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The second day of Global Entrepreneurship Week has fallen and our attention turns to social enterprise with our dedicated Enterprise-in-a-Box programme with young people at New Regents College Pupil Referral Unit.
The Government defines social enterprises as “businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.”
Enterprise-in-a-Box is a step-by-step guide get young people to set up their own social enterprise. Workshops take participants on the journey of making a profit while at the same time they are helping people and the planet by selling ethical products. In today’s session young people split into groups and received a box of products to sell, from this they had to create their own business plan on the best ways they would market their product.
“I think the session is important because it’s teaching us things we’ll have to do later in life, it’s very important, you have to know the math! I want to be self-employed when I’m older because I want to be a leader. I took in lots of information today, knowledge is power and this was a good lesson.” Ozan, 16.
MyBnk trained the groups to sell and tell the story behind their products, but they decide the unit price and how to market it. Proper planning and teamwork is key. We will see how they do over the next weeks.
Most students came up with fantastic ideas of ways to market their product, thinking about the best places to sell so people would buy from them. A few suggested going to Brick Lane market to sell there as well as other similar markets and some decided to try putting up posters in local flower shops. One group even started coming up with their own song to sing to try to market called ‘Soak it, Throw it, Grow it’!
“I enjoyed this because we learnt how to be independent and think of our futures. I’ve learnt important selling skills like communication skills and that you have to be smart with your customers. I want to be a builder when I’m older, I wouldn’t mind having my own building company as well. The MyBnk session today was good.” Brandon, 15.
November 19, 2013 in Uncategorized |
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Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 sees MyBnk bringing enterprise education to over 1,200 young people with 24 projects in dozens of schools and youth groups.
Day one kicked off with a full day Back my Business loan challenge for 200 pupils at St Martin in the Fields High School for Girls.
The school based enterprise experience gets young people creating their own businesses using real money and interest free loans which MyBnk backs up with support. Pupils running the school’s MyBnk-in-a-Box microfinance scheme decide which five/six of the best enterprise ideas advance to the next round and get a chance to actually create and sell their product!
“Our business idea is to make accessories but because that won’t attract everyone we’re going to make tie-dye backpacks too and we’ll make them from recycled goods. This gives people a kickstart to the world of business and entrepreneurship which some people will be able to use in their futures – I’d love to have my own dance company when I get older so I’ve loved everything we’ve learnt today, I hope we can do it again!” Chelsea, 12.
The challenge was turning their creative ideas like making smoothies, bracelets and phone cases into something profitable with a social enterprise element like using recyclable material or combining their products with an educational element.
Who will advance to Round Two of Back my Business? Teams will be judged on teamwork, ambition and creativity so today was all about the girls battling to show us who really has what it takes to run their own businesses! Watch this space.
“MyBnk have shown us how to manage money, I’ve really enjoyed it so far, I’ve learnt it’s not just about money it’s thinking about how you can make it work. I want to be a nurse or a lawyer but I may start my own business.” Elenor, 12.
November 18, 2013 in Uncategorized |
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This month week saw the launch of our new enterprise education programme, Mind Your Own Business, with a dozen young Business Studies students at the Peter Jones Academy – North Hertfordshire College.
In their first enterprise experience, two competing teams made 100% profit each after a two weeks boot camp learning the basics of running a business like product development, budgeting and customer relations.
Thanks to the Heritage Foundation, a fully functional pop-up shop played host to a genuine Ghost House, a beauty salon with nail painting and henna tattoos and young traders selling handmade Banksy-style t-shirts – banking £170!
Peter Jones retweeted this pic and got us over a thousand views!
The Mind Your Own Business project has seen the North Herts pupils designing mobile phone products at the headquarters of financial software giants at Monitise, chucked in at the deep end selling goods on Hitchin Market and conduct market research with traders in Camden Town.
This project was the pilot of a new initiative through Gazelle Colleges Group in partnership with MyBnk, and it is now looking at being rolled out to further students studying at NHC.
“This is a fantastic opportunity, giving us real experience of working in a competitive environment and using the team initiative to make sure that the job is done.” Harry Gregory, a student from PJEA.
“The students have done a fantastic job so far sourcing all of the products on short notice and marketing their businesses to the public.” MyBnk Education Officer Andy Dunn.
November 18, 2013 in Uncategorized |
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“This is going to give me some great skills to manage money. My parents don’t know how, they never had this kind of thing at school so I don’t want to miss out” MyBnker, Elsa, 14.
Hundreds of young people have started saving during a mammoth week of not one, not two, but THREE new MyBnk-in-a-Boxes!
Around £400 was lodged in a single lunch break by 11-13 year old students, many of whom were opening their very first bank account. Going live this week and getting plenty of attention in the press, were:
- St Martins-in-the-Field High School for Girls – who had BBC Radio 4 reporting & an MEP cutting the ribbon!
- Forest Gate Community School – who have their own uniform!
- Westminster Academy – who’s head teacher saved £20!
These three now join Walthamstow School for Girls and Mount Carmel School for Girls who all have over a dozen trained student and teacher mentors running saving and lending schemes. They offer their peers accounts and interest free loans of up to £40, decide who to invest in and run incentivised saving and business start-up drives. All this is backed up with workshops covering everything from student finance and pensions to ethical finance and social enterprise.
There was a very special guest at St Martins as Syed Kamall, MEP for London opened his account and spoke to the BBC about the importance of schemes like MyBnk-in-a-Box.
“We all have to learn the lessons of the financial crisis and we shouldn’t be spending money we haven’t got. This applies to all of us from the government, politicians, families and households. The best way to spread good financial education is not by top-down methods, but by community led projects like MyBnk” Syed Kamall, MEP.
In the last academic year young people regularly saved £3.64 a week at our banks, that is 56% of their pocket money – an adult would bank £220 a week on a £26,000 salary! 5,500 young people have had their first enterprise experience with us, starting over 320 ventures via interest-free loans and business support. On average they made a profit of 73% and half had a social enterprise element.
UK personal debt is currently £1.4 trillion, savings are at a record low and young people face an ever toughening job market. MyBnk teaches young people how to manage their money and become entrepreneurs, by doing it for real with financial education workshops and enterprise marketplace challenges.
“Having experts like MyBnk at St Martins has been a great success! It is amazing to see 13-year-olds be so enthusiastic about saving. These girls have volunteered their own time to run the bank and help fellow students get into good money habits” James Faul, Humanities Teacher at St Martins & MyBnk Mentor.
November 14, 2013 in Uncategorized |
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MyBnk welcomes the initial findings from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education and broadly agrees with the recommendations of its Vulnerable Young People inquiry.
Chair of the Vulnerable Young People strand, Fiona Bruce MP, has produced a report that clearly identifies the barriers to financial literacy for this group and makes sound suggestions on how we overcome these difficulties.
We are pleased at the call for local authorities to develop strategies to build the financial capability of vulnerable young people, MyBnk have assisted Tower Hamlets with their mapping exercise for a number of years. Also welcome is the suggestion that banks should have a policy of caution with under 25 year olds, signpost assistance and act on warning signs such as repeated overdrafts.
However, we are concerned at the suggestion that financial institutions themselves are best placed to provide this assistance i.e. financial education. Please see our thoughts on this area. We do agree with the reports recommendation of partnership. For instance, MyBnk recently created the curriculum for a Hyde Housing project ‘The Money House’ which simulates independent living for young social housing tenants.
MyBnk also welcomes the inquiry’s acknowledgment of our fears that despite financial education becoming part of the national curriculum, many young people will miss out. Please see our dedicated National Curriculum section for more. The focus on help outside school is sound as is acknowledging the need for financial role models at home and the adverse effect of consumerist culture.
It rightly suggests that statutory bodies, financial products and those working directly with vulnerable young people should ensure that financial capability is embedded in their policies, procedures and practice, especially in the training of staff that work directly with young people. However, we would go further and include young people in the design of this, as we do via a Youth Advisory Panel, to ensure assistance is relevant and impactful.
MyBnk already does a lot of what the report suggests, mainly through financial and enterprise education programmes, delivering the Money Advice Service, a Youth Advisory Panel and policy work.
A quarter of our overall work is in this area. We have reached over 1,400 young people in more than 100 youth organisations across London, the North East and North West, delivering over 1,400 face-to-face hours of programmes – helping young people detoxify money management and overcome difficulties and to provide the best possible start in independent living in the areas of managing benefits, tax and prioritising spending and debt.
We look forward to engaging stakeholders further and helping business and civil society implement many of the sound recommendations in this report. MyBnk does this through delivery, consultation, product development, partnership and policy.
For more on our important work in this area, please see our dedicated Working with Vulnerable Young People section.
October 29, 2013 in Uncategorized |
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Guest blog: Judith Rozen is a MyBnk volunteer and coordinator with Jerusalem Interest-Free Microfinancial Fund – a UK charity helping poor communities set up their own business with loans and advice in Israel.
I followed MyBnk’s path since its beginning, always intrigued by the innovation and dynamism of its project. By coming to volunteer here, I hoped to contribute to its brilliant prospects, together with exploring a different field of microfinance.
41 % of Jerusalem’s population live below the poverty line, twice the national average. These Jerusalemites are 21% Ultra-Orthodox Jews and 35% Arabs, two communities who tend to have low employment rates – some of them are very educated, others less, but they all have bring innovative projects to their local market and community. Small businesses include beauty salons, kindergartens, pastry classes, after-school tutorial classes. Just like Lily did with Bangladeshi women, I am highly inspired by their knowledge and determination. They teach me much more than I help them.
Yet, their lack of financial and economic knowledge compared to their perseverance, sometimes restrains higher efficiency.
At MyBnk I found a very different charity: a whole office with computers and frontline staff vs. field work and local and international meetings in Jerusalem.
MyBnk focuses on spreading financial and entrepreneurship awareness and education as soon as possible with 11 to 25 year olds, while JIMF gives opportunities to ‘late comers’ and long financially excluded people. This is crucial in a world where the financialisation of society is omnipresent. Citizens should hold the respective knowledge to enable themselves to make everyday decisions, build their future and understand more global trends.
The truth is that children today hold expensive objects and are also much more aware of money that most like to think. That is a major pinpoint from MyBnk which conveys youth tailored programmes and delivers financial education, and enterprise know-how in a strikingly engaging and fun manner.
The power of financial education to change lives is preeminent and needed because it is extremely empowering in many aspects of life. I always saw it in Jerusalemite women but also instantly in young people. Entering the sessions from the diverse MyBnk programs was a fabulous experience of witnessing immediate impact and change, these teenagers eyes were shining and their smile growing steadily by the end of the session.
Empowerment was definitely in the air. I enjoyed doing research and integrating into the office dynamism. I was also given the opportunity to unravel the mysteries of structural management and organised campaigns, such as the recent inclusion of financial education into England’s National Curriculum. Nevertheless, my important lesson, both on professional and personal level, was that I am not made for sitting days in front of a computer!
I can confirm the MyBnk factor is INDEED contagious and spreading rapidly across the globe. Thanks to all the team for this wonderful welcoming and best wishes to MyBnk in the future!
October 22, 2013 in Uncategorized |
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MyBnk have joined the Keep Me Posted campaign to maintain consumer choice with paper bills, statement and payment options.
Many young people are not taught any financial skills, this means they may find it harder to deal with their own personal finances so removing paper may just add to their confusion.
Although the majority of people under 25 have grown up online, that does not mean they automatically want or are able to manage with their finances in a virtual world – Keep Me Posted’s research shows 36 per cent aged 15-24 still prefer to view their bank statements on paper.
Keep Me Posted’s has found that more than half the population are more likely to read a paper financial statement than an online one so taking away that choice could mean many young people find it hard to keep track of their budgets.
We are now part of a range of groups like Mind, RNIB, DementiaUK and the National Consumer Federation that believe people should have the right to choose how they would rather be contacted by providers and digital communication is not always going to be what everyone wants!
Nearly half of 16 to 25 year olds name debt as their biggest fear, so anything that can help them keep on top of their finances, and prevent them falling into that trap is to be welcomed.
MyBnk finds many of young people’s financial difficulties stem from a lack of understanding – for instance, 1 in 20 teenagers think they do not have to pay back credit card debt at all. Taking away paper bills and statements only adds to that confusion.
It is echoed by countless vulnerable young people we work with through our specialised Money Works programme. Many lack access to digital services and are already financial excluded: ‘with a physical format I know exactly where I stand; I can plan my next steps and effectively manage my money’, is something we hear all the time.
That is why we are delighted to support Keep Me Posted in its campaign for consumer choice.
Judith Donovan CBE, Chair, of the Keep Me Posted campaign, says,
“Though the majority of under 25s have grown up using the internet, it does not necessarily follow that they are better able to or want to manage their finances online. In my daily life I hear many concerns about the move to paperless bills and statements but even more concerns about the right to choose being taken away from consumers.
There is no doubt that many businesses, in their drive for greater efficiency and cost savings, have forgotten to take their customers with them on that journey. And it is even more important for youngsters who are only at the start of their financial journey, and just learning to be independent, to be able to manage their money properly.
MyBnk is helping them to do just that, and I am pleased to welcome them as supporters of the Keep Me Posted campaign.”
October 18, 2013 in Uncategorized |
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