The idea for this project was born from a joint belief based in abundant evidence that, faced with the enormous challenges posed by an increasingly global economy and job market, our young people need all the help they can get to step up to the challenges ahead. In its core, the ultimate aim of this project remains to help our young people to discover, explore and enhance their entrepreneurial knowledge and skills and to develop a sound understanding of the world of work, the intricacies of the business world and develop the skills, knowledge and the necessary know-how of devising, creating and running a viable business enterprise. In return, this will equip our students with the necessary skills to seek, procure and maintain a job, as well as be able to have a pro-active attitude to forging a career. This project will also enable a less abrupt transition between school and the labour market and prepare them for what is to come. In doing so, they will be able to improve the local economy through creating new businesses in the near future after they complete their compulsory and/or prior to Higher Education.
The project will involve students in the last three years of school or students aged 13+, as appropriate. Initially, each partner school will select their Y2BE team of 35 to 60 students (depending on its size), through a selection process which will be inclusive, fair and transparent. This team will then be divided in smaller departments, each covering different areas of the business/company, such as Management and Leadership, Market Research, Finance, Product Design, Marketing, Presentation, Sales etc. In its core, the task will be to devise, design and (potentially) implement a business plan which will be innovative and will aim to improve life in their respective local communities or further afield. Prior and during each stage of the project, which will form the theme of each transnational meeting, students will explore, prepare and present to their peers one aspect of their business plan. As the project reaches the end, all Y2BE teams will pitch their plan to a panel of high profile real life business people, in a competitive setting.
The following outcomes will be produced during the course of this strategic partnership:
- A website
- A viable and detailed Business Plan for each participating school
- Students’ CVs on Europass format as well as European Skills Passport
- Informative brochures
- Lesson plans for a number of workshops and presentations for larger audiences
- A DVD summarising key aspects and outcomes of the project
- A Project Corner (Twinspace) on eTwinning.
- A facebook group
- Bi-annual e-magazines
- A final promotional-style video of the project
- A repository of videos of the contests on Youtube
- Dissemination conference.
Most of the activities will be carried out during the Learning/Teaching/Training activities for students and staff, according to the following schedule and themes to be explored:
- The Launch of the project and Market Research - What is enterprise/entrepreneurship? Setting the challenge. A mini challenge will be delivered during one of the days to give an idea of what is expected from the project overall. Participants will be trained on effective Market Research strategies such as looking at the needs of your local community and identifying areas that would benefit/allow development internationally (as well as meeting the needs of your local area). Their finding will be prepared for presentation in the following mobility.
- Presenting the results of Market Research and developing Your Product or Service Idea. How the gaps/needs have been identified, what ideas do you have? Generating lots of ideas and reviewing how this would meet the needs of both your local and international communities. How realistic/possible will it be to make your idea a reality. As a group,decide on the main idea that you will run with. Does the product or service already exist and if it does, how will yours be different/better - what is your USP (Unique Selling Point)?
- Product/Service Design- What will it look like? How will it work? Who is your target audience? Time dedicated to really thinking about the specific details.Building a model could be built into this session.
- Marketing - What is marketing? What methods are there to promote your product/service and which will you choose? You will need to consider the cost, the best way to reach your target audience and how this would work internationally (think about language). This session could include the creation of marketing materials/examples of the marketing materials.
- Sales - What goes under the concept of sales and how is this different to marketing? How will you 'sell' your product? What skills are needed? This session will include communication skills workshops and other challenges designed to develop skills such as persuasion, confidence building and the use of appropriate language and business jargon.
- Finance - Learning about the financial terms and the mathematics driving the business plan and making it profitable. How much will it all cost to create? How much will it sell for in order to break even and make profit? What is your projected profit/loss? What financial contributions would you need to ask for and where/how could you ask? What is sponsorship and is this something you would consider?
- Presentation Skills - Developing your presentation and essential presentation skills such as confidence, voice training, physical aspect, body language and the use of appropriate business language. This will also include a deep understanding of the details of the project on all the aspects covered from the beginning.
- The Finale - Rehearse presentations, making sure teams have 'perfected the little touches'. Presentation to a panel of judges made up of high profile business guests, in a celebratory environment. Judges decision announced on best performances on each of the aspects of the business plan and one overall winner with certificates. Celebration of the project and the skills gained.