From education to employment

Students from Surrey school meet with Prince Edward following YE success

Local YE teams meet HRH the Earl of Wessex as part of his Surrey Hills Enterprise visit

Students from Guildford High School were presented to the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, last week, as part of his Surrey Hills Enterprise visit to meet local businesses. HRH visited the artisan food hub at the Silent pool where he formally opened Mandira’s Kitchen a local artisan Indian food business. 

Some of the girls who met him, were part of team Pluto –  set up as part of the Young Enterprise (YE) Company Programme – the enterprise and finance education charity’s flagship scheme. Last year, team PlutoGHS, comprising of 12 girls aged 17-18, set up a business which manufactured and sold jewellery stands made from old fences and leftover local wood. Initially, they offered five different stands at five different price points, ranging from £10 to £30. To increase revenue further, they began selling festive packages of sweets over Christmas and introduced a range of jewellery, sourced from a charity in India. 

Interestingly, the group of girls spotted an opportunity in building unique products from cheap, readily available materials. This kept production costs low, allowing them to amass a profit margin of approximately 80 per cent, and accumulate a total profit of £1,700. The team entered various competitions and were named as finalists of the Young Enterprise Company Programme Surrey finals.

In addition to their YE work, the girls have been working for over 3 years at Mandira’s Kitchen at large and small events and food festivals. They are responsible for many aspects of the business from dealing with customers, showcasing the food and handling the shop. Mandira’s kitchen are passionate about nurturing entrepreneurial talent especially in girls and employ over 10 young students as part of their own Young Enterprise initiative. The Lord Lieutenant of Surrey and the Mayor of Guildford were also in attendance.

Mahera Sarkar, Sales Director of PlutoGHS commented:

“For me, Young Enterprise has been one of my most rewarding and useful activities to date… [The various competitions] we entered helped develop interview skills and gave me an  insight into what it truly means to run your own business. I found the latter extremely beneficial as I am currently employed within my mother’s company, which specialises in authentic Indian freezer meals, and have now been able to take on more responsibility.”

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