Stories

Inspiring future engineers and entrepreneurs

My colleagues and I coached engineer students in their 3rd year of High school, helping them setting up their dream company. It was a great mix of business ideas, everything from serious to fun, digital apps to ideas on how to get the very last bit of your Nutella pot. What was interesting is that most of the ideas came from environmental friendly thinking. 

The best thing about volunteering is when you feel their energy, see their creative imagination, burning passion for entrepreneurship and their fearlessness. 

They had great confidence, one example being a student company contacting a giant online retail to check their interest in selling their product that might revolutionize distribution. We are all looking forward to being in the Jury in December and evaluate their final business Proposals. High school students might be younger but they are just as smart!

Jury members of Vlajo Mini-Enterprise

The second opportunity we had to volunteer was as jury members for a Vlajo Mini-Enterprise Initiative. In the competition several schools in the Antwerp region participated. Students in the age between 17 and 19 presented 19 business ideas. The students participating all had to pitch their idea to 100 other students and prepare a 3 minute promo- video. 

It was impressive to see their drive, ideas and insights. In this competition a mini-company from Kapellen won with an idea of delivering ingredients for fresh soups at their schools. Many of the companies participating were supporting good causes with their profits. 

Why you shouldn’t hesitate

It is a great experience to invest in the younger generation, they will be our future. 

By volunteering you will have the chance to see how they think and behave, we might be getting older and things are changing but the young people are inspiring. Most of them will give you new ideas that you are able to use at work and in your own life. 

Don’t think you shouldn’t do it because you feel you’re not enough of an entrepreneur, accountant or marketer. We always contribute with our knowledge and they are happy to get feedback and support from “business people”.

Koen Vanderhoydonck is a Euroclear business volunteer from Belgium, who mentored students twice together with his colleagues Dominiek and Loede Feys. 

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