Young Enterprise

Monday 28th April

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

I’d like to thank Janet Appleton for standing in for me as reporter of the meetings. I’m glad to be back after my unexpectedly extended holiday in Gran Canaria.

Our speaker this week was Ellen Wood, the West Yorkshire manager of the charity Young Enterprise.

Young EnterpriseEllen explained to us that the charity’s object is to help young people from the age of 4 up to 25 to develop their understanding of the business world, and to encourage them to engage in enterprise. As she put it in her presentation, Young Enterprise enables young people to understand and tackle the challenges of the business world in ways that are enjoyable, enlightening and energising, and completely relevant to potential employers

The charity delivers a huge variety of programmes, working with schools and youth services in partnership with businesses. The programmes are inspiring, relevant and fun, eg running a virtual airline with a notional budget of millions, or     Tenner, a programme lasting a month where young people are encouraged to work in teams to develop a business starting with £10 as capital. This has been successful, with 90% of businesses making a profit, and the top teams making £1000 from the tenner.


One aspect of the charity’s work is to target young people who have failed in the education system, but who may well have untapped entrepreneurial talents. Rotarian Janet Appleton, in giving the vote of thanks, gave us a striking example of this from her own experience in helping Young Enterprise deliver a two day programme in Humberside, where a young man who had to be helped with his reading and writing, had the talent and originality to come up with the business model that was used by his team.

Ellen explained that Young Enterprise is in need of money, publicity, but in particular volunteers to assist in delivering the programmes. They are currently involved with eight schools in Leeds, and there are mentoring opportunities for Rotarians to take up. The aims of Young Enterprise fit very well with Rotarian’s work with youth. A list of volunteering opportunities is attached to this message, along with a copy of Ellen’s powerpoint presentation to the Club.

Nick Pinches, President of the Rotary Club of Headingly, attended the meeting. In common with Roundhay, Headingly has supported the Sylvia Wright Trust in the past and in the coming year are hoping to raise $10,000 dollars for the Trust to enable them to build a kitchen for the hospital, which as a global grant would attract funding of $35,000. He invited the club to consider making a donation.

Finally, the Club was very happy to see Raghunath Das be inducted as a member of the Club. He was introduced by Raj Menon, who reminded us that Raghu had previously been a member of Roundhay and had recruited Raj to the club. Raghu attended the meeting with his wife Suja. Our other guest was Jill Fisher.

Other announcements included the news that the Marks and Spencer Collection raised £415.

As not everybody present had been able to attend the superb President’s Evening last Saturday, the club once again congratulated David Hawkin on becoming a Paul Harris Fellow. Paul Nickson stood down from the post of Sergeant at Arms in preparation for becoming our next President, and was thanked for his sterling work in that role. He will no doubt miss the weekly heckling that are a feature of the Sergeant at Arms announcements.

Scott Wolstenholme