The Company Programme aims to empower young people to set up and run a student company under the guidance of a business volunteer.
the programme focuses on allowing the students to make all the key decisions about their business, from deciding on the company name, managing the company finances and selling to the public.

The project is made up of three steps:
Stage 1 - Getting started and Business Planning
Deciding upon roles within the programme, generating ideas, creating a business plan, setting up a bank account, selling shares, launching the product/service.

Stage 2 - Running the enterprise
Creating the product/service, selling to the public, planning meetings to ensure goals are met, keeping financial records and competing in local competitions.

Stage 3 - Winding up and planning
closing down the programme, selling off stock, deciding what to do with shares, reflecting on the programme and decide on next steps/exploring potential careers.

The students are supported by Business Advisers and Centre Leads.

Business Advisers who are people who work in the local community and offer support to the students during the development stage of the programme. They give the students their expert knowledge and advice. They connect them with opportunities to meet other employers & community members. They also offer work related training and support where needed

Centre Leads champion the programme in school, ensure that the students are safe throughout the programme. Make sure that the course is intertwined with their study wherever possible and connect the students with business advisers.

Resources needed

£600 of the course is funded, so the school or college need to pay £800. This tends to be paid by a local business, who then work in partnership with the school. One teacher to lead the team for the duration of the programme.

Evidence of success

The programmes key successes is the ability to empower students to believe that they could go on to run their own businesses with 70% of teachers feeling that students career aspirations had increased.

Key Report stats
• 89% had a better understanding of the world of work.
• 87% felt confident to run a young enterprise business.
• 83% had reflected on the skills they will need for the future.
• 73% showed improved employability competencies in work readiness and work responsibil

Difficulties encountered

The key challenge is getting schools to allow students from a wide range of backgrounds to engage. There is a tendency for it to only be offered to students taking business related courses. When it is actually probably of more value to learners who are not and so would gain more knowledge and skills

Potential for learning or transfer

The students make all the decisions, including their roles during the program. Gaining experience on how to set up a business in terms of the key stages and how to effectively work with others. The also develop soft skills required to work effectively with others in a business setting.

Students buy and sell shares to generate the financial income to get their project off the ground. At the end of the program they give shareholders back what they invested plus any profits (this is optional and decided by the team). This gives them a financial objective and ensures they review the financial elements of the project.

The dedicated online sales platform teaches students how to effectively use their digital skills to sell their product to an extremely wide audience.

The program makes students aware of the impact that companies can have on the planet and the community that they live in. At each stage there is time built for reflection on the impact of their product on the planet

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Main institution
Devon County Council
Devon, United Kingdom
Start Date
September 1981
End Date


Jacob Coburn Please login to contact the author.