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Bijoux – An award winning Young Enterprise Scheme company

June 4, 2009

Oh hasn’t school changed! My niece attends the same high school I attended millions of years ago. They still have the bright scarlet hats we used to wear and hated wearing when we had to walk in a crocodile formation from school into town! But gone are the fun days of the late 60s when we all rolled our school skirts up to make mini skirts, and Judy was the best,  now skirts are almost floor length! Thankfully the knee length long white socks are gone, replaced by black ankle socks!

It’s with interest this year that I’ve listened to the trials and tribulations of my niece and a few of her friends who created a company Bijoux under Britain’s Young Enterprise Scheme.

image Bijoux

(Florence second to the end on the right)

As a group of 14 and 15 year olds they were expected to create a product, design and market it while keeping the books, records, and maintain a web site in addition to continuing with their school work and for some of the girls that included taking GCSE’s a year early.

They decided to make fabric covered button earrings

image

These “Gromit” earrings are one of my favourite pairs.

It proved to be time consuming and fiddly, needing to match patterns, to make an obvious pair of earrings. They’ve learnt, like many other participants on the scheme, (and many other artists and entrepreneurs) that its not as easy as you think to run a business. The product has to be perfect, marketing is important and so is taking the opportunity to sell the product. It’s been a hard slog to find a balance between school, company, free time, family and other commitments. Enthusiasm has wavered at times but at the end of the day they were rewarded for their hard work with a win in the first round. They competed against other local schools and college groups in the South Downs Final. Now they are moving on to the next round and I wish them luck.

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