21 May Enterprise Club Making its Mark at Harborough Market
There are many brilliant examples of initiatives involving teenagers and school children at markets throughout the country ranging from Market Place Europe’s educational Continental and Christmas Market tours, to The Teenage Market or the National Youth Market in Manchester.
One other fantastic program that deserves a mention during Love Your Local Market Fortnight is the High Impact Education Service which runs the Enterprise Education Project in Market Harborough.
High Impact Education Service (HIES) is a social enterprise that works with children and young people in South Leicestershire. The programme inspires children and young people to think innovatively, work cooperatively and celebrate passionately the efforts they make to be the best they can be.
The Enterprise Education Project runs Enterprise Clubs in primary and middle schools and the goal of the club members is to take recycled, donated, natural and low cost materials and reconstruct them into high quality craft products that they sell at school and community events.
Most importantly, they sell their crafts at the ‘Enterprise Club’ stall at Harborough Market every Saturday. As a result, the Enterprise Club members develop lots of business and enterprise skills.
The young stallholders conduct regular business meetings where they learn how to give their team feedback on things such as how well their products are selling, how to attract more customers and how best to display their products, learning how to cost and price their crafts and how to display them. They demonstrate and talk to the public and handle money, doing accounting including how to figure out their profits. They then make decisions about what to do with that profit, deciding amongst themselves how they will donate their profits including whether to hold back some profits in order to invest in such items as new materials and tools.
To date, the students have donated their profits to places like Loros Hospice in Leicester, Mablethorpe Children’s Holiday Centre, projects in their own schools and towards learning resources and building materials for schools in Uganda and Ghana.
We asked Enterprise Project member and Enterprise Club stall holder, 14 year old Kieran Hubball, why he comes to Harborough Market and what he enjoys about it.
“It is a challenge working at the market. I learn lots of new skills, such as how to make paper flowers, necklaces and bracelets as well as how to sell them. Our teacher, Mrs Rockett tells us about marketing and pricing and how to display things.”
Kieran has been trading at the market since last July and is an experienced hand at setting up and packing away the stall.
“If I wasn’t here, I would probably be getting into trouble at the skate park,” Kieran very honestly told us.
This is another of the reasons why this project is so important. It gives the children a purpose and a place to come to each Saturday where they can be supervised and work alongside their peers and other traders, whilst learning key social and business skills.
“I get to meet other children from local schools such as Meadow Dale or Great Bowden, and in my breaks I can talk to the other stall holders,” Kieran added. “My favourite stall is Stress-3-IT, I spend a lot of my paper round money there on all the gadgets.”
We asked Kieran if he thinks markets are important places within the community.
“Yes, they are. Everything you need is at a market. If your computer broke and needs repairing and you need to buy fruit, you can do it at the same place at the same time. You can’t do that at Sainsbury’s!” Kieran answered. “They are also good for people to set up a business. Saturdays are very busy for most traders and have a good atmosphere.”
We couldn’t have put it better ourselves, Kieran.
The project, which is entirely grant funded, is ran by trained teacher Alison Rockett with her part time assistant Nicole Harris.
“I think that the kids create an exciting ‘buzz’ in the Market,” Alison told us. “I love to listen to new and innovative ideas about possible crafts to produce and to chat to people who visit the stall to drop off their donated materials. It’s the perfect place to engage with all members of the community.”
During Love Your Local Market Fortnight the spotlight is very much on raising the profile of markets as a place to both shop and trade, but we mustn’t forget that they can also be a place to learn and grow, and that there are key people like Alison Rockett in markets and communities all over the country that use their local market as a place to make real differences to people’s lives.
To find out more about Harborough Market