Business and Entrepreneurship in Secondary School

Year 11 student Nao Yoshinaga describes her hands-on experience with marketing and event planning through YCIS Beijing’s Enterprise class.

What made you decide to sign up for this class? What initially attracted you to the subject?
When I was choosing IGCSE classes, I was interested in how entrepreneurs manage their businesses, organise their employees, and overall lead their businesses to success. I also chose Economics as one of my IGCSE classes, so I thought some of the content would overlap and help me better understand both subjects.

What did you find most challenging about the class?
From the beginning of Year 10 to now, every single topic that I have learnt during Enterprise classes has been challenging for me. This is because the various topics that we have learnt, such as different types of businesses, business planning, negotiation, budgeting, and so on, were all completely new. Although I faced different challenges, teachers and friends around me were there to help and aided me in overcoming those challenges.

How was this class different from a traditional class?
The big difference from a traditional class is that we actually pursue projects outside the classroom, such as selling food and products to students during the school break time, lunchtime, and other special days. From those kinds of projects, we can truly understand what an enterprise activity means and feel a true sense of teamwork and accomplishment.

What were some of the unique projects you were involved in?
Our Year 11 Enterprise classes have done different kind of projects, including selling cookies, cup noodles, Korean foods, hot dogs, and so on. The only other main project was the Book Nook. The Book Nook project was a great opportunity to experience what enterprising means, but I cannot say it was an entirely unique project, so I am eager to see what other new projects there will be that I can get involved in.

What do you think will be the most memorable experience you received from this class?
As mentioned above, my Enterprise class organised the Book Nook event in tandem with Roundabout China last Saturday, December 12, in Hall H. It took a lot of effort to plan this project and at first we thought we would not raise more than RMB 1000 yuan. However, on the day there were quite a large number of people who attended our book fair. In the end, we raised almost RMB 4500 yuan within five hours. Although it was our first time planning this kind of social enterprise, I was impressed with raising so much money. This project was my most memorable, valuable, and a successful project from this class.

What kind of persons would you recommend taking this class?
I recommend a person who is very innovative and interested in business management. A person who has entrepreneurial skills, such as readership, communication, determination, and problem-solving ability would also enjoy this class. All of those skills would be very helpful for the projects in class.

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