The School Enterprise Challenge supports students and teachers to plan, set up and run a real business at their school.
From coming up with a business idea and writing a business plan to launching and running the business, students take the lead and have the support of their teachers.
We spoke to Nikita Soni, a recent graduate of the School Enterprise Challenge from Choithram School in Indore (India) and former member of our Global Youth Advisory Panel, who has gone on to set up her own business.
Hi Nikita! Tell us a little bit about your business
I have set up a bakery business which I currently run from my home. I deal majorly in fresh cream cakes, brownies and flavoured chocolates and all flavours can be customised to customers’ wishes!
I promote it mainly via word of mouth and also use my Instagram page: _baked_goodies_ (<– click the link to view her page!)
Owing to grade 12 studies and examinations I have restricted myself to just a limited number of orders which I deliver from my home for now. I hope to grow it in the future.
What made you set up the business?
Baking is my passion. I had been doing it since I was 12 years old, making cakes for friends and family. In grade 11 when I was 16 I became part of the business team of School Enterprise Challenge at my school. I decided to use the entrepreneurial skills I was gaining and began to take orders professionally from certain friends and acquaintances.
Nikita has set up her own small business selling delicious custom-made cakes
How did being part of a business at school help you to set up your own business outside of school?
Being a part of school business helped me a lot. I was always a shy kid so communicating with strangers or public speaking was tough for me back then. Through the school business I got several opportunities to speak to clients which helped in overcoming my fears and raising my confidence.
I developed plenty of business skills too! For example, carrying out market research showed me the importance of understanding the needs of my customers. In the school business I also learned how to keep financial records and to manage them effectively and that’s something I use in my own business today.
Nikita keeping track of sales for her school business, Good Earth (left)
and receiving her School Enterprise Challenge Achievement Certificate (right).
What information and advice would you share with another female friend who is interested in starting a business?
My advice to girls is to be fearless and take the initiative in an environment where nobody does stuff like you. Do what you love to do and work hard to master your skill so that you are tough to beat.
It might be difficult in the beginning but slowly and steadily it will help you to cut through the crowd and shine bright.
It’s the risks we take that make us, so challenge your fears.
The School Enterprise Challenge empowers young people by giving them the chance to develop the skills to succeed in life and in work while still at school. You can find out more on our website and in our Information pack.