On 3 December, Small Business Saturday, secondary school and college students from across Sussex taking part in Young Enterprise’s flagship Company Programme, will be setting up trade stands and selling their products at Horsham’s market in the Carfax organised by Food Rocks and supported by Horsham District Council.
The December Trade Fair will include a competition, where the student companies will be assessed by a team of judges on the quality and uniqueness of their product, appearance of their stand, knowledge of their business and customer service skills.
Young Enterprise (YE) is a national charity that motivates young people to succeed in the changing world of work by equipping them with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need. Company Programme, YE’s flagship enterprise education programme, sees students aged 14-19 set up and run a profit-making business or social enterprise over an academic year.
Each year Horsham host the December trade fair at one of their Carfax weekly markets, with the event playing an important role in the students’ journeys before they move onto the next phase of the year-long programme.
The students in these companies have made all the decisions about their businesses so far, from deciding the company name and product, to creating a business plan, managing their finances and working hard on the marketing and sales strategies. YE help them by providing a volunteer Business Adviser to mentor the students and offer events for them to attend throughout the year, including the trade fairs.
In previous years, local students have created a range of unique products such as sustainable pet toys, personalised gifts and cookbooks inspired by local hospitality businesses.
Commenting on the trade fair, Cllr Jonathan Chowen, Leader of Horsham District Council and Cabinet Member for the Local Economy said:
I am so pleased that Horsham will again be hosting the December Trade Fair for this fantastic programme, supporting valuable employability and business skills development in our local young people.
Trading at markets is always such a brilliant opportunity to gain face-to-face feedback on a product or service and I hope lots of people pay a visit to the trade fair on 3 December, to support the students’ journeys and support Small Business Saturday in general.
YE’s research shows Company Programme participants develop key employability skills. A longitudinal study of Company Programme alumni has shown that in the two years following their company’s closure, 94% are in education, employment or training [EET] – 7% higher than the national rate.
Michael Anderson, Young Enterprise, Regional Manager for London & South East commented:
We have been working with Horsham Markets for a number of years now and it is always brilliant to see the student companies trading alongside real, professional traders, honing their sales techniques along the way and hopefully – although not always – turning a profit by the end of the day. We’re grateful to Horsham Markets for the continued support.
Come along to the Carfax in Horsham and visit the Young Enterprise Trade Fair near Chococo, to support the student companies and see what they have created on Saturday 3 December from 9am. Hunt out some unique gifts for Christmas!