WOU builds up entrepreneurial skills in school students

(July 19-20, 2014)

The Wawasan Open University-sponsored school under the Young Enterprise (YE) programme, SMK Datuk Haji Mohd Nor Ahmad, successfully participated in the 12th Annual YE Northern Region Sales Fair held over two days at the 1st Avenue Mall.

A total of 16 ‘companies’ or corporate-sponsored schools participated comprising some 450 students. This year’s fair was special since it marked the 25th anniversary of the Young Enterprise programme, a community education programme under the auspices of the Malaysian American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) to nurture business leadership and entrepreneurial talents in the young.

Students from the WOU-sponsored school in action.

Students from the WOU-sponsored school in action.

WOU-sponsored school’s company, Dark Horse Enterprise, stood out because of their uniquely hand-designed logo and their four ‘manufactured’ products. The 25-member team from the school sold rubber-band or rubber loom bracelets, crystal and cartoon brooches, bag tags, and the YE commemorative 25th anniversary recycled paper mache limited edition photo frames.

WOU provided guidance and advice to Dark Horse Enterprise, where the ‘Young Achievers’ comprising Fourth Formers of the school had been tasked to form and manage a company, including developing products for sale. To prepare for the Sales Fair, WOU’s Chief Advisor Deehbanjli Lakshmayya conducted several briefing and training sessions, where the students were taught about approaching customers, closing a sale, inventory control, pricing, and promotion, including printing posters and catalogues.

The ‘photowall’ of YE corporate sponsors

The ‘photowall’ of YE corporate sponsors

In conjunction with the fair this year, a poster exhibition to celebrate 25 years of YE in Penang was held, showcasing newspaper articles, montages and photographs. There was also a specially designed “photowall” for people to take photographs against the backdrop of the logos of the corporate sponsors, YE, AMCHAM and the 25th Anniversary.

The special prizes being offered for the Sales Fair - which would contribute towards the final YE Achievement Award - were Best Overall Stall, Best Customer Service, Best Teamwork, Best Sales/Marketing Techniques, Best Decorated Stall and Most Profitable Stall. In addition, the Penang Green Council was awarding a prize to the best recycled product and the YE committee was awarding the best 25th Anniversary commemorative product.

VIPs visit the fair.

VIPs visit the fair.

The top managers of the corporate sponsor companies and the heads of the sponsored schools visited the fair. Among them were WOU Chief Administrative Officer Yeong Sik Kheong and Northern Region YE Programme administrator Datuk Tang Hon Yin.