Ahead of the game;Young Enterprise

26th June 1998 at 01:00
Boys at the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe have been so successful with their Young Enterprise products that they are now selling them abroad.

Their first product was a pocket-sized dice game called Roll-A-Goal. This now sells in the United States and the Far East through Young Enterprise's International Trading Programme. They have since developed a second game called Counter Attack.

After launching an Internet site, the company - called Board? - is translating the games' instructions into Spanish, German, French and Malay.

The boys have formal two-hour meetings on Mondays, plus an additional meeting at breaktime on Fridays.

Their adviser, Jenny Smyth, a business counsellor with Midland Bank, is impressed. "Certainly if you'd seen the company to start with you might have wondered whether they were going to be successful. It's a pleasure now to hear the quality of their meetings.

"If you talk now about things like cashflows, they'll understand. At first they might have thought they understood, but they didn't.

"The skills they learn are invaluable. You can learn all you like from a textbook, but when you come to do it the first time, that's when you find out if you really understand.

"The idea of Young Enterprise is that you can find out by doing it without losing anything. It shows them the world of business isn't that easy.

"When they started they were really confident. But because they had some difficulties, they began to learn the value of marketing."

Link teacher Joan Allen says: "I think it's valuable, not so much in running a business but in communicating skills, teamwork and problem solving. They do get business skills, but I wouldn't say that's the main thing.

"Certainly for employability in the future it does make a difference, and it does give them a lot of confidence."

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