Yusra and Maisie are students at Kensington Aldridge Academy.
“When we started at KAA in Year Seven, we were told we should take part in Enrichment classes after normal school: these went on till five. We didn’t want to do it … at first.
We’d both chosen Creates Club, which is pretty popular, and it turned out to be really fun. There are real companies working out of our school, and with Creates, you get to work with them and see all sides of the business. We did ceramics and jewellery: you learn how to design the products and market them; how to make them and how to budget – all the profit and loss stuff. We even sold our jewellery at a Portobello Market stall! That meant we really had to know the products inside out because the customers had questions about the materials and processes. We’re in Year Ten now, but that was three years ago, when we were only eleven!
Since then we’ve run our own Juice Bar here in the school canteen – that was for the Charity Week house competition – and spoken to the whole assembly about what entrepreneurship is and why it’s important. Presenting like that in front of loads of students and teachers… we’d never have thought we could do it before we started here. And that’s not just because we’re young. There’s this big communication block for our generation, like where you come from and how you speak counts against you away from your home environment. But we’ve had people from massive companies like Goldman Sachs come and talk to us about presentation skills, how to pitch ideas, and stay fluent and on track. We’ve learned how to communicate better, how to speak without slang: we’re much more confident now.
Creates gives kids something to occupy them, but it gives them more career paths too. We’re doing our GCSEs now and starting to think about the future: corporate law, law with business, social entrepreneurship… That’s the other thing about Creates – it’s made us think about what we can give back. Business shouldn’t just be about making a profit, it should be about helping people too.”