Berkeley team presents virtual business
A team of school-age business people has highlighted its skills at a presentation on their virtual enterprise.
The Berkeley Institute pupils demonstrated how their Bermuda-branded goods firm Leisure in the Triangle had developed in the past year at the Virtual Enterprise International programme.
They also showcased their business plan, problems they had faced and how they overcame them to an audience of sponsors and teachers.
Team member Seon Tatem, 18, said: “The presentation was just to show them primarily that we actually put in work with their money and we actually learnt and put our minds to the task.
“It was an honour to present in front of our sponsors and the Minister of Education, just to show them that we have a promising future.”
Seon, from Sandys, displayed his virtual company’s success last month at Sofia House in Church Street, Hamilton, with the help of his business partners Robert Thomas, 17, and Andreaz Glasgow, 15.
He said that the team had spent the last school year working alongside other pupils to expand their business, which sold a virtual example of products such as bathing suits and lotions with an island theme.
Seon explained that, despite the virtual nature of the business, he developed business skills through his position as chief executive officer of Leisure in the Triangle.
He said: “It was definitely a learning hurdle because this year was my first year doing business, so the experience really opened my eyes.”
Seon added: “We had to speak to people that we wouldn’t normally speak to and attract people to us and show them why they should spend money on our company.”
The Virtual Enterprise programme was designed to “bring the workplace into the classroom” and allowed pupils to run their own business over the school year. The group of pupils, with guidance from experts, had to come up with a virtual product or service to sell and turn a profit in “VE dollars”.
VE dollars cannot be used to buy products outside of the programme, but can be used to grow businesses in the VE programme’s virtual economy.
Andreaz, the chief operating officer, said that their business was able to rake in more than VE$600,000 in just ten months.
He added that their business model had placed 32nd at the Youth Business Summit in New York in April, where they competed against 40 countries.
Andreaz, from Southampton, said: “You had people from Asia and the UK, so we did pretty well, especially for little Bermuda.”
Robert Thomas, the chief administrative officer, said he planned to stay with the business next year to help the new executive team.
He added that the business would expand and sell a wider range of products as they entered the last year of their two-year registration contract.
Robert, from Southampton, said that anyone who wanted to take part in the programme needed a “working mindset” to thrive.
He added: “Being in a business working environment is a whole different mindset and that’s something you don’t really get exposed to.
“But even if business is not something that you would specifically go into, these skills are universal in all fields of work.”
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