Jason Wouhra, Managing Director of East End Foods in Birmingham introduced twenty lucky students from Ark Tindal Primary School to the business that his family began in the 1970s. He shared how his family moved from Delhi in India to Wolverhampton with £3 worth of stock and with that they set up a business selling food to small shops at a profit. After explaining how the company expanded over the decades, importing and exporting food all over the world, the students soon began to realise what ‘being an entrepreneur’ actually meant. The Wouhra family had a vision for the future and this showed the students the huge value in having dreams and aspirations.

Touring the store

Eager to see what Jason and his family had built from scratch, the students were given the opportunity to tour the factory. Walking down the aisles, they spotted some products they were familiar with, from Kitkats and Skittles, to rice and oil and all the spices you could imagine.

Along the way, Jason introduced the students to other employees, such as Mr Kumar who checked the products as they were delivered. He mentioned that in his job he has to use problem solving skills to figure out what do if there’s a mistake with the orders.

The students also realised that many of the employees had to work in teams to be successful in their jobs. When the workers were handling the stock, there often needed to be two or more people helping out. One person was driving the fork lift truck and another was guiding and there was another person on look out at the same time. Year 6 saw the importance of teamwork in this job.

Teamwork and Problem Solving Challenge

After seeing enterprise in action, the students thought it was best to build these skills for themselves so they could work in a place like this when they were older. To do so they took on the role of event planners to organise an awards event for the hard working employees at East End Foods. Teams thought carefully about the theme, food and entertainment that would all fit in their limited budget!

Team ‘East End Awards’ showed their excellent teamwork by coming up with a theme and each working on different elements to make this as fun and rewarding as possible. ‘We have a 70’s theme as that is when the company was founded,’ explained one student, ‘we will have prawn cocktail and chicken in a basket for our food and disco dancing for our entertainment’ said another.

The ‘East End Grand Celebrations’ came up with creative ideas for their event. They even came up with a holiday for the employees, but this was actually a research trip for collecting new foods from around the world. An excellent solution to a worry that the best employers would be on the holiday, they’d actually be doing the company a favour! They would also save money by catering for the event using food from the shop floor. Jason was really impressed by this and thought their concerns about money were essential to doing good business. ‘I might use some of these ideas myself,’ he said.

Presenting their ideas

To share all their excellent ideas the students prepared a presentation for the judges and their classmates. They thought extra carefully about how to engage the audience, speak clearly and be confident. ‘Don’t be nervous,’ said Jason who as Managing Director has to give presentations every day in his job.

Team ‘East End Celebrators’ clearly explained their team roles and politely transitioned between their team members, ‘Now, it’s over to Hamzah who will be explaining about the entertainment…’ how professional.

After all the teams had given their pitch, they were eager to find out the winners. Kindly, Jason had offered to give the students four boxes of chocolates from the store so there was a lot up for grabs! The judges deliberated in the board room and after a short while they were back in the room ready to announce the winner…East End Awards!

Well done to all the students from Ark Tindal, it was great to see you developing key skills over the day and to your teachers for supporting you throughout. A big thank you goes to Jason and his team at East End Foods who helped raise students’ aspirations and inspired them to pursue their dreams!

If you want to find out more about embedding enterprise in your school, contact Enabling Enterprise.

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