Young Enterprise, a leading national charity empowering young entrepreneurs, is recruiting Business Advisers willing to volunteer their business skills and experience and mentor student companies from Kingston and Richmond schools through its prestigious Company Programme.

Company Programme is a unique opportunity that allows students aged 15 to 19 to establish their own companies, take on Director roles, and use their creativity in designing, marketing, and selling their own products or services.

Registered as a branch of Young Enterprise and insured for public sales, these student-run companies can sell shares to raise capital and are equipped with a business bank account.

The students will gain valuable experience by selling their products and services at markets across London. Any profits generated by the student companies are entirely theirs to keep!

Throughout the spring, these companies compete at Borough and Area levels, with the potential to progress to the London, UK, and European finals during the summer.

Company Programme runs throughout the academic year, typically involving weekly meetings (term-time only) amounting to 12-18 meetings over the course of the year.

Volunteers Needed

Young Enterprise will assign all student companies a ‘Business Adviser’ – a volunteer prepared to guide the students through running their business – and this is where you come in!

Young Enterprise will provide full training and an enhanced DBS background check, before matching you to a school/company whose geography and weekly meetings suit your needs.

Your role would be to:


Work with a group of students

  • Help them to develop and run a successful company, treading the line between leading the students through the experience and enabling them to run things for themselves.
  • Early on you will need to take a positive lead – then step back to being a mentor and facilitator.


Be a motivator

  • Encourage students throughout the process.
  • On occasion (often after the first couple of months) students may lack morale and motivation. You will need to help lift their heads and keep moving on.


Advise and raise awareness of skills

  • Act as a consultant (guide, help and suggest) – try not to direct or lecture them – remember the principle of “Learning by Doing”.
  • Clearly any specialism within business is a welcome bonus; colleagues/friends can also be roped in for one-offs on subjects you feel they could offer insight into.
  • That said, business expertise is not essential: our volunteers come from all backgrounds.
  • Awareness of core employability skills is important – e.g., initiative, teamwork, resilience – to provide a framework and wider context for the students’ progress and development.


Represent YE within the Company and school

  • Maintain contact with the YE contact teacher (‘Centre Lead’) to arrange dates of meetings.
  • Encourage completion of student pre- and post-evaluation.
  • Encourage engagement with wider YE-provided activities (trade fairs; competitions).
  • Ensure compliance with programme rules and regulations.

As a ‘full-time’ Business Adviser, you would need to commit one hour at the school every week (term-time only). If such a commitment is problematic, and if the school is amenable, the company could be welcomed on occasion/s to your own place of work – giving them an excellent experience of meeting in a true professional environment.

By becoming a Business Adviser, you will make a real difference to the lives of young people, and you will learn new things and develop new skills in yourself too!


For more information: Company Programme – Young Enterprise & Young Money (  

To find out more, read our Company Programme Business Volunteer Guide here

To register your interest please contact: Clive Suckling, Chair of the YE Local Volunteer Team: 07802 877913