Young Enterprise is a highly popular and successful element of the Sixth Form extra-curricular programme at NLCS, involving around 70 girls in Year 12 each year, divided between three Young Enterprise companies. The aim of the programme is for students to gain first-hand experience of business and entrepreneurship by setting up and running their own companies, producing and selling goods and services both in and out of school. Each company meets weekly during lunch and is supported by an external business advisor with a background in enterprise and commerce. Early in the year, each team elects its Managing Directors, arranges the appointment of other company positions and begins to raise seed capital through the issuing of shares. They then set about deciding on the product or service they will develop during the course of the year. The success of each business rests heavily on the imagination and determination of the girls themselves and a healthy rivalry quickly emerges between the teams!
Once each company has decided upon and developed its product or service, the next challenge is to make the business thrive. Clever marketing through websites, local media and poster campaigns are all employed to win the company vital sales. The girls have a range of opportunities to sell directly to the public, including trade fairs in Harrow, Brent Cross, Milton Keynes and Stratford-upon-Avon. Many teams also now sell very successfully via the internet. As the Young Enterprise year progresses, the companies have an opportunity to compete against other schools in a series of business competitions. With impressive trade stands and polished presentations, North London teams have consistently excelled in these events, regularly reaching the London Final stage and twice reaching the prestigious UK National Final in the last decade, most recently in 2012. Beyond the prizes and the profit, though, Young Enterprise at NLCS is, above all else, enormous fun. Girls form strong bonds with their peers, developing excellent skills of teamwork and organization. They also gain huge confidence from the numerous opportunities for public presentation.