Golden Entrepreneurship Programme
The Golden Company has launched its third Entrepreneurship Programme, designed to turn promising business enthusiasts into real-world entrepreneurs. In total, 23 young people from Hackney successfully graduated in 2014.
Incubating New Ideas
The Golden Co train young people in sustainable entrepreneurship by running an in-house business incubator. Here young people research, design and launch their own branded product in just eight weeks.
Young people devise, design, develop, produce and sell their own cosmetic product. Along the way they make choices about target market, theenvironmental credentials of materials and packaging, and pricing.
The participants then pitch their product to a panel of experts. This year the panel of dragons included:
Course participants learn the fundamentals of running a business. They make active business decisions and see the impact of those decisions in a real world setting. They also have the opportunity to meet and learn from fellow Entrepreneurs, who operate across a range of sectors including music, fashion and retail.
The young people have thrived from the experience and have gone on to join Golden Co retail, pursue further business training and to develop their own start up ideas.
In addition, young people can earn an accreditation on successful completion of the Programme. To date, 45 people have achieved a Business Enterprise Award accredited by ASDAN.
The products themselves have been well received by customers, starting with the young people themselves, some of whom have been carrying the product around with them since the end of the course.
So what next for our Young Entrepreneurs?
The next stage for our graduates is to continue to build core skills in sustainable sourcing through regular bee keeping and hive management. Honey is a precious resource and is widely used across the Company’s entire product range. Learning to manage a scarce resource whilst meeting the ongoing demands of business can help young people develop a more sustainable approach to enterprise.
Are you our next Golden Entrepreneur? Watch out for our upcoming programme launch dates.
Bees and Nature
Bees are natural connectors that live in harmony with and improve their own environment. In keeping bees, we are helping to maintain the planet’s life support systems.
We learn about bees so that we have a better understanding of the implications of the decisions we make about our natural cosmetics products in terms of materials and packaging. Studying the honeybee also allows us to be informed and confident talking about our magical honey to customers we talk to at Borough Market. Working with the bees also prepares the young people for their paid shifts assisting on employee engagement sessions on the rooftops of City of London institutions such as the London Stock Exchange, Nomura and Lewis Silkin.
The role that bees play in the ecosystem that supports human life and economies is very easy to see and so understanding bees gives us an insight into the natural systems at work. They also provide a great metaphor for collective work which creates value beyond just the individuals involved. These understandings help develop our environmental and social literacy.
We learn about the bees through theory sessions which cover their role, behaviour, lifecycle and what the challenges facing them are.
By working in a practical way with the bees we connect directly with nature. We learn to overcome our fears and find calm to focus on the bees needs. We learn to build their frames, how to open and inspect the bees with minimal impact, and how to extract honey for sale. (We leave them with enough of their own honey to survive the winter!)
We also learn through play, and bees have been the inspiration for many of the teambuilding games that we join in all together.