- How and in which activities participants will be involved
The first activity of the project will involve the recruitment of students who have the interest and motivation to become the entrepreneurs and wealth creators of the future. This will take place in the home country. It is expected that this will number between 10-15 students, including a mixture of male and females from different backgrounds. The next stage will be the formation of a company; the students will learn about different types of businesses (using case studies), aims and objectives, functional areas and job roles and ethical approaches to businesses (again using case studies). The students will then be required to consider their interests and skills and take on roles within their own newly-formed company. This will include finance, marketing, HR and production (if relevant). Other job roles may be needed depending on the business’ products of services. The company will need a managing director (and an assistant) and this can be organized by a vote.
The first meeting will be hosted by our French partner. The objective will be to gain knowledge of existing businesses and their aims and objectives. The students will visit local businesses, find out how they where originally created and how they are currently organized. During the activity the students will make presentations how businesses are set up in each member country; this will allow the students see the differences and similarities that exist in each country.
The second meeting will take place in Sardinia, Italy. The focus here will be on new product development and market analysis. At this stage the students (as part of their companies) will have started to explore product ideas and looked at potential gaps in the market they can exploit. The students will be introduced to the concept of market segmentation. The meeting will also involve workshops on new product development and market analysis. The students will visit existing business in the local area to experience examples of businesses which have developed products/services to meet the needs of a particular customer type. They will discover how these businesses recognized their target market and why the products or services meet the needs of the customer.
The third meeting will help the students to understand the importance of financial management. This will take place in Spain. The students will learn about sources of finance for small businesses and entrepreneurs and how this may vary in different countries. Financial experts specializing in small businesses from the local area will be used to run workshops for the students. An important part of this activity will concern working capital and how business can manage their cash flow. It is vital for students to understand the importance of managing cash flow if a business is going to be successful and sustainable.
The fourth meeting will take place in Portugal. Here the focus will be on production processes. There will be a workshop on production and visits to local small businesses in the agricultural sector to observe and learn about the processes that have been adopted by existing companies. Students will learn about the different methods of production that companies use and how they try to maximize effectiveness and efficiency.
The fifth meeting will take place in Croatia and will focus on promotion and marketing. The students will take part in workshops and explore the different methods that can be used. Visits will be made to existing business that have used successful promotional and marketing techniques. Given the rapid changes in technology students will consider methods that can be used to maximize its potential.
The sixth meeting will take part in the UK and be focused on the importance of ‘getting the price right’. The students will explore the different pricing strategies and methods used by existing businesses and consider what would be the best approach for their product(s) or service(s). Visits to existing businesses, with different pricing strategies, will be an integral part of the meeting.
At the final meeting the students will present their final business plan. This will be a culmination of the work they have done in their home country and the skills and knowledge they have gained from the previous meetings. This activity will take place in Romania in the form of a business conference and trade fair. Local business people will be invited to see the plan being presented and give feedback to the students. Each of the companies will give a verbal presentation and create a visual display/stall of the company and product/service. The conference will be attended by a wide range of people including the business and local community, school and family members. At the time of the conference the school in Oradea will have a new hall which will provide the perfect setting for a conference and be able to seat 100 visitors.
- Support these participants and engaged them in the planned activities.
The first part of the process will be the recruitment of the students who will be the members of the newly-formed companies. It is important that this process is done fairly and takes into account equal opportunities. A wide range of students will be encouraged to apply; all schools will ensure that students who may not excel academically but display attributes that make them potential entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply. The process will encourage a gender balance and applicants with physical or learning difficulties will be encouraged to apply. Applicants will be asked to write a letter of application to explain their motivation and also attend an interview. All applicants will be asked the same questions in order to make the process fair. In order to ensure equal opportunities it is also important that the selection panel is carefully chosen. Again there will be a gender balance made up of teachers, a member of the business community and students who have previously been involved in other projects. This varied panel should enable decisions to be taken in a fair manner and consider the applications from a number of different viewpoints.
One the members of the company have been selected they will be formally notified by letter. They will be asked to sign an agreement concerning the activities they will be expected to take part in, the commitment required and the length of the project. The companies will be run in a democratic way; the managing director and his/her assistant will be voted in (or out) and other members will be asked to be nominated for particular roles (such as the finance director). Throughout the running of the project the students will meet for regular (twice monthly) ‘board’ meetings where they can discuss progress and take strategic decisions. The meetings will be formal in their nature and minutes will be taken. These meetings will be run by the students and chaired by the managing director. A teacher or business person will also be present to act as an advisor.
The meetings should be controlled by the students and this enable them to be fully engaged in the process. The focus will be on the development of their business plan and the production of presentational and workshop materials which will be used at each of the meetings. For example, it will be the responsibility of the French team to create presentational and workshop materials on aims and objectives and different types of business organizations in preparation for the first meeting. As it is the students who are preparing and producing the materials this should ensure they are fully active and engaged in the process.