Our very own Leeds group has been recognised by Richard Branson in a “Virgin Pioneers” business competition. The youth enterprise was one of 8 shortlisted from 100s of aspiring young entrepreneurs, and the group were invited to Richard Branson's home last week to meet the boss of Virgin and original 'entrepreneur'.
Not Just a Youth Enterprise was set up almost two years ago in Leeds and the group have been working hard to market the first of our ethical and fairly traded products. Blessing Maregere entered 'Not Just a Youth Enterprise Leeds' into the Virgin competition and was very excited to receive a phone call telling him that he had been chosen as one of 8 semi-finalists.
Although Blessing's video pitch didn't win enough public votes to get him to the final, he did get the chance to go to Branson's home to meet him and introduce him to 'Not Just a Bar of Chocolate'!
Ross, 18, from the group said “I think Branson loved our business idea because it fits with his new approach in his book ‘Screw business as usual’ which is about businesses making a difference in the world, and our business is about helping people both in poor countries and at home”
Blessing Maregere, 18 said – “Everyone at the event was really impressed with our chocolate bar – and that we have created this brand OURSELVES with support from local entrepreneurs, and that the profit is going towards supporting young people with business skills. I got to meet some of my business heroes at the event such as Richard Reed, Co-founder of Innocent Smoothies. He was a really nice guy to talk to, plus he loved our chocolate bar!”
Earlier this year Not Just a Youth Enterprise Leeds was given support with business planning and sales pitching from a group of business students at Leeds Trinity University and this really boosted their confidence. Next steps are to follow on some of the great contacts made by Blessing and Co. last week at Branson's home and to get some more pitches lined up!
A huge WELL DONE to Blessing and the Leeds group!!
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