On a very busy Saturday in Shepherds Bush, with only 20 more shopping days left until Christmas, a bunch of young people aged between 15 and 19 took over Healthy Planet’s shopfront to test their business skills and have a positive impact on the environment at the same time.
They had set up their stalls at West 12 Shopping Centre on 5 December as part of their involvement in a Young Enterprise Achievers programme to gain first-hand experience of running their own real company.
Healthy Planet donated its shop as part of its active role in building a better future for children and making a real difference to help save our planet.
Amanda Stenbaek, aged 16, from St Paul’s Girls’ School in West London, was selling scarves to encourage people to add a layer rather than turn up the heating this winter. She said, “More people should be buying greener Christmas presents for their loved ones this year to help save our planet from climate change.”
Ibraheen Iibbss aged 19 from Ealing Independent College, said, “This project has helped me realise my dream. Since I was young I’d dreamt of running my own business and one day being my own boss.
“At the moment we are a customising T-shirts for our clients and eventually we will be doing the same with jumpers and hoodies. This project has helped us to gain invaluable work experience, stretched our abilities working in a team and made us want to achieve more.”
Shop owners like Harun Ornek, in West 12 Shopping Centre said that trade was still strong despite the recession. He said, “It’s very encouraging that young people are getting the opportunity of running their own business in these difficult economical times.”
Young Enterprise London is the UK’s largest organisation promoting entrepreneurship to young people in schools throughout London. They have been working with these students through the year to help them create and run their own companies.
Michele McKendry, director of Young Enterprise London, said, “Today, we have been inspired by the young people in our local community in making positive choices for their future. Having this unique opportunity has made them more aware of how they can have a sustainable impact our environment.”