Celebrating 40 years of supporting Young Enterprise as new format introduced

Sure is celebrating 40 years of supporting one of the island’s most recognisable initiatives for young people: the Young Enterprise programme.

Justin Bellinger, Chief Executive of Sure Guernsey and Young Enterprise area judge, met with last year’s winners of the Guernsey competition, JobLab (pictured), to praise the award-winning team before judging this year’s intake.

JobLab, made up of Rhiannon Mallard, Will Dereham, Joseph Blake, Oliver Coupe, and Thomas Dorey, won the 2021/22 edition of Guernsey’s Young Enterprise competition and went on to win the ‘Innovation Award’ for their compelling business idea at the southeast regional finals. JobLab is an easy-to-use recruitment platform with the aim of making finding part-time, temporary and full-time jobs easier for young people in the Bailiwick.

The Young Enterprise programme seeks to encourage secondary school-aged students to venture into the world of business. Anyone aged between 15 and 19 can enter and participants are put into teams to test their business leadership skills. They are tasked with coming up with their own company and make real-life business decisions, such as electing board members, raising share capital, creating a marketing plan, managing the company’s finances, and even creating their product or service.

This year, the competition is mixing up the formula to inspire new innovations and a competitive spirit. For the first time, competitors will go head-to-head in a “Dragon’s Den” style event where teams pitch their ideas to Justin and area board members. This will filter competitors down from teams of eight to four. The final four will then be able to take part in the programme, start their own business, and work with a business advisor as in previous years.

Sure has sponsored Guernsey’s Young Enterprise programme since 1982, more than double the age of the initiative's participants! Sure provided a business mentor for many years, ensuring the children had a professional to speak to for guidance and advice. This comes in addition to Justin’s role as judge which sees him select the very best participants the competition has to offer. More broadly, Sure sponsors Young Enterprise financially, as the competition aligns with our goal of keeping islanders connected, as it encourages students from all walks of life to collaborate, communicate, and cultivate exceptional business ideas.

CEO of JobLab, Rhiannon Mallard, said: “Creating a business was a very stressful but fun learning experience. During the Young Enterprise programme, our team developed skills such as leadership, communication, organisation, and financial management. I personally gained insights on managing a team. If you are thinking of joining the next Young Enterprise programme, I say do it!”

Chief Technology Officer of JobLab, Will Dereham said: “It’s been an amazing opportunity to learn new skills and gain real-world experience of running a business. I think there’s a lot to gain from the Young Enterprise programme, and it’s amazing to watch your business grow from an idea to a working product”.

Justin said: “We were blown away by the level of innovation and professionalism demonstrated by the young businesspeople at JobLab. Their company recognised a need within a specific target demographic, and they met that need with an intelligent solution built on hard work and innovation.

“Sure has been an integral part of the Young Enterprise programme for four decades, and I am proud to be a part of that journey. The programme is demonstrative of our passion for helping young people understand the fundamentals of business and getting connected with new friends and colleagues. I am looking forward to seeing what this years’ intake has in store for us. After the work of JobLab last year, the bar of quality is very high indeed.”

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