Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) is a charity forming part of the Junior Achievement Worldwide family, which engages with young people between 5 and 25 years to provide development in enterprise and employability skills.
Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) has operated in Scotland for over 38 years and has been an independent charity since 1991 and forms part of the Junior Achievement Worldwide family, which spans over 114 countries. Operating as an umbrella organisation Young Enterprise Scotland has the potential to engage with all young people between 5 and 25 years to provide vital development in enterprise and employability skills. Young Enterprise Scotland is probably best known for delivering the Company Programme to 5th and 6th year students in Secondary Schools. Over the last 7 years they have successfully extended access to this learning through working with young people considered hard to reach: young offenders, children and young people in Secure and Residential Units, young people leaving care and young people leaving school with no positive destinations.
Stuart Miller, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise Scotland, says “Young Enterprise Scotland was very successful in obtaining funding for this work with the ‘hard to reach’ client group to such an extent that we were in danger of moving almost wholly into this type of work.
The Directors and the Chief Executive identified the requirement to re-engage with main stream education. Young Enterprise Scotland had developed a wide range of training materials available for delivery to their varied client base, however to enable clear concise marketing we refined our schools learning programmes to 5 core programmes, as well as those programmes available out with the school environment. We still have the flexibility to tailor courses to meet individual client needs including shorter one day courses but will be more reactive than proactive in promoting this area. Our core programmes provide the backbone for the ‘movement of enterprise activities’ and enables young people to engage on a number of occasions with Young Enterprise Scotland throughout their school and post school years.”
As part of the above mentioned Change Strategy it was agreed that a SROI report be undertaken to ascertain and identify the value of the re-integration with main stream education.
“The process required to undertake the SROI audit supported the Change Strategy, the report has provided all staff and stakeholders with a clear indication of the value of Young Enterprise Scotland’s programmes.”
Stuart Miller; Chief Executive
The final ratio of the SROI analysis calculated showed that every £1 invested in the YES education programmes brings a social return of £5.63.
The SROI helped to demonstrate the value of Young Enterprise Scotland’s school programmes through evidencing outcomes experienced by students who took part in a YES programme, teachers and volunteers, amongst other stakeholders. These outcomes are given a financial value, which contributed to the calculation of the predicted social value, as represented by the above ratio. Carrying out the SROI also helped to illustrate the outcomes experienced by stakeholders in relation to Young Enterprise Scotland’s overall objective:
“To inspire and prepare all young people to succeed in a global economy”.
Stuart Miller, Chief Executive of YES said “One of our unique selling points is our method of delivery, operating with a small team of paid staff along with a wide network of volunteers. Volunteers are essential for the delivery of our learning programmes and we are fortunate that the majority of our volunteers have been with us for a number of years, two thirds have been involved for more than 2 years – one third for more than 5 years.”
Volunteers are closely monitored through periodic visits by members of the senior management team to ensure that a high standard of delivery is maintained with evaluation and comprehensive feedback. Through the distribution of post programme questionnaires and surveys, feedback was used in order to examine the outcomes the volunteers experienced for the SROI analysis.
The SROI also examined potential future outcomes by involving alumni who had taken part in the programmes previously and teachers, in order to explore the future benefits experienced by stakeholders. These benefits included being ‘more likely to start their own business in comparison to their peers’, ‘increased earning potential’ and ‘job fulfilment’. These outcomes were measured and evidenced through the results obtained from an Alumni evaluation, carried out by FreshMinds, commissioned by Young Enterprise.
Many students felt they had developed valuable employability skills such as teamwork, decision-making and sales and negotiation, which was found in the results obtained from exit surveys. YES have explored the use of assessments on a percentage of students, such as Psychometric tests and the Rickter Scale, to ascertain changes in ‘soft’ outcomes such as confidence and self-esteem. In addition to these assessments, observations from teachers can be used to enhance the evidencing of ‘softer’ outcomes, helping to contribute to YES’s overall objective.