Plymouth-based Real Ideas Organisation – which harnesses social enterprise to create new opportunities for young people and adults – has some very real ideas about enhancing understanding of international trade through an exporting project with specialist sports college Plymstock School.
This week Institute of Export Director General Lesley Batchelor and Joanna Hill, Head of Enterprise Education & Culture at Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) heard presentations from year 10 on their plans to act as export agents for local food, drink, surf equipment and jewellery manufacturers.
The 15-year olds had identified the manufacturers as having a strong product to maximise in international markets. They are working with their French teacher to take these products to the region of Brittany – in particular Plymouth’s twinned town of Brest.
The students had planned thoroughly and invested in time and research to develop the initial proposition to the Brest companies. Food and drink is one of the areas with very low export activity so these young people had unearthed what is a key challenge across the UK.
A decision was made to export flavoured crisps to France – on the premise that they are not widely sold in French shops. The youngsters will next test their market proposition on their business trip planned for June.
Says Lesley: “The creativity and business savvy of the students set me wondering how powerful it would be if small companies across the UK sought out opportunities in towns across the world which are twinned with places where they live?
“Each of these joint international endeavours has amassed a wealth of local intelligence and insider knowledge of market potential which they can transport into the world of exporting and international trade.
“We wish year 10 every well-deserved success with this vibrant venture – and with their potential as Young International Traders!”