30 May 2019

Young Enterprise has given a group of young people from Rathcoole the opportunity to explore their entrepreneurial talent by setting up and running a business.

The Access Enterprise programme, supported by Choice, introduces young people into the world of business, whilst enhancing their softer skills in teamwork, communication, presentation skills, confidence, and problem solving.

A group of 8 ambitious young people started working together in February 2019 and following market research in their area, they decided to produce wooden ornaments with pictures and slogans on them.  They decided on the name the Modge Podgers –and set about sourcing materials, producing their products and developing their business.  In April the Modge Podgers showcased their product at a trade fair in Abbey Centre Shopping Centre in Newtownabbey gaining valuable experience in customer service.

Alongside running their business, the team are working towards their OCN level 1. Participants have given great feedback about the impact this project is having on them personally,

“I learnt confidence and team work” (Rhiannon 13 years old)

“Brought me outta my shell and helped me grow in self-esteem” (Adam, 14 years old)

“I’ve gained confidence in approaching customers and learnt how to improve my customer service” (Ryan, 15 years old)

Chief Executive of Young Enterprise NI Carol Fitzsimons MBE added: “Our Access Enterprise programme combines practical experiences with personal development support to stimulate the capacity for young people to ’learn through doing’. The experience will help boost aspirations and help identify potential in setting up and running a business. Students will enjoy real successes and overcome real setbacks which will help develop key employability skills such as problem solving, communication, and resilience”.