The Bake Off registration for teams has now closed. Looking at the teams, it’s going to be an amazing year for cake, I promise you. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t still get involved, we would therefore like to welcome you to the #BXLBAKEOFF launch this evening at 18h00 (for more information, contact Bryony on EUcommittee@britishchamber.be). The charity for which we are raising money is one that is close to our organisation’s core values. We asked the director, Lena Bondue, to write a few words on her charity organisation and where the money will go.
“Thanks for your support for our NGO, YouthStart. We rolled out our first programme in 1999 and since then more than 4500 underprivileged youth and young adults have followed our course in entrepreneurial attitudes and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship education is a tool that can equip young people to not only start businesses and create jobs, but also to be opportunity-focused, flexible employees ready to fill existing jobs.
The YouthStart course is a unique combination of hands-on training and motivational coaching. Participants discover their talents, increase their self-confidence, improve their attitudes and accumulate a large dose of corporate knowledge by developing a business plan for a project of their liking. The “icing on the cake” is the presentation of the student’s own business plan. This can be of a fictitious company or a company they truly hope to start. The plans are presented to the public and a special jury. The jury is made up of people representing the collaboration between YouthStart and the corporate world.
YouthStart fosters the creation of businesses and the development of a adaptable, driven and opportunity-focused workforce that ultimately promotes economic stability. External research has shown that Youthstart graduates start and maintain businesses at substantially higher rates than their peers. 11% become business starters, but as important are the 59 % of young people who find a job and 12 % who stay or return to school and invest in education.
The British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium is organising a baking competition on October 27 that aims to raise awareness and funds to tackle the issue of youth unemployment and skills in Belgium. Teams will compete to bake the most creative, visually attractive and tasty treats, which will be judged by a panel of top chefs in Belgium. The British Chamber is collaborating with YouthStart for the second year running, following the inaugural competition that took place in 2013, which raised 5000 euros. Your support and the financial contribution of your company allows us to reach an even more substantial group of young people with our courses and programs offered for free to our participants.
If you would like to become involved in YouthStart in an even more substantial way for ex. By becoming a Certified Trainer, Mentor and by hosting a business plan competition within your company premises, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .”