Young entrepreneurs light up centre by selling USB-lit trees

Pictured Jordan Wilkinson , 14 , Nikita Poxon, 15 and Callum  Dickinson, 14. PIC: Steve Riding
Pictured Jordan Wilkinson , 14 , Nikita Poxon, 15 and Callum Dickinson, 14. PIC: Steve Riding
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Enterprising teens are branching out by selling USB-lit Christmas trees they have produced during a project for children at risk of dropping out of school.

Four 14 to 16-year-olds from schools all over Leeds have designed and produced 50 of the 45cm-tall, fairylit artificial trees after developing their business skills in a pilot scheme run by the Hunslet-based Involve Learning Centre.

Designed to help teenagers who have been experiencing difficulties with full-time, mainstream school learning, the iVenture pilot has invited the four pupils to work together on the Christmas tree project to create a business and return a profit.

Having decorated their CVs with Level 1 Open College Network awards during the three-month course, the pupils will sell their trees, which light up when connected to a computer, at the White Rose Shopping Centre, in Leeds, today from 10.30am to 2pm.

Course tutor Pete Pickavance, who devised iVenture with colleague Rich Hamlin, told the YEP: “You can really feel the buzz with the kids – they want to achieve.

“It’s about raising their aspirations and getting them to think that there’s something out there for them.”

Jordan Wilkinson, Nikita Poxon, Callum Dickinson and Tyrell Ferguson have been spending two days a week at Involve as part of iVenture.

They worked to develop a business plan, plotted market research and developed products with a £200 budget.

The trees will be on sale in the southern mall at the White Rose between Next and Zara.

White Rose director James Bailey said: “We are always very happy to encourage young people, especially the potential entrepreneurs of the future.”

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