Young business brains are smoothie operators
PUPILS at a Grimsby school are taking advantage of a very juicy business opportunity.
John Whitgift Academy pupils have opened a smoothie bar – Groovy Smoothies – in their school in a move that will promote healthy eating and encourage enterprise in young people.
The bar will open at lunchtimes selling smoothies for £1 and everything, from the management to the kitchen work, is led by pupils.
Head boy Liam Kiff, 15, said: "I am really proud to be a part of this – it's one of the best days of my life.
"It has been a great opportunity for me to learn about business in my final year and also a chance for younger people to develop their skills."
The business model is from Xing Smoothies, a company set up by Hull University students, which teaches children skills for employment by giving them the tools to set up a real business.
The bar was officially opened by Xing founder Phil Benson, who said: "We set up a smoothie company and were shocked how many children and young people liked them, so we decided to bring our company into schools, initially because of the healthy eating agenda.
"We soon realised that we could add enterprise to it and teach children real business, real education – skills from running a real business that would make them more employable at a time when opportunities for young people are few."
Twelve pupils had to fill out application forms and take part in an interview before being selected for the scheme, then had to attend three business workshops on objectives, enterprise and the practical side of making the smoothies.
Academy principal Mark Rushby said: "We are trying to drive the standard of exam results, but they will only get young people to the interview stage – we need to teach them extra skills so that they are ready for the workplace."
Cara Oakley, youth enterprise manager for E-Factor's Inc brand, which provided training and funding for the scheme, said it was a chance to teach children skills within a "real business environment".
She said: "The economy is changing and when they leave school, many of these children may have to consider self employment and might have the confidence to do so because of what they learn here."
Megan Hirst, 13, said: "I've learned how to make real smoothies and how to work in a proper team, and I would be very interested in running a business when I leave school."
Ryan Cook, 13, added: "It's given me confidence and I want to be a chef, so it is really good on my CV, too."