An important part of your role is to collaborate with the Business Adviser (BA) assigned to your Student Company.

Your Business Adviser will be supporting students to create and run their own business. Students will have access to YE Digital Connect, a safe and secure moderated online platform that will enable communication to take place between  students and their Business Adviser online through the exchange of messages. The platform is designed to supplement rather than replace face-to-face or remote meetings hosted by the school (where these are possible). However, in the event of school closures YE Digital Connect is a fully safeguarded platform that will ensure students can continue to access support from their Business Adviser.

VIRTUAL MEETINGS – RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

If the school opts to facilitate additional video calls to support student meetings the following rules of engagement for virtual meetings must be adhered to. This guidance is intended to set out a framework for safe remote interaction between volunteers and student groups using video calls and should be adhered to on each occasion that such media is used.

The following should be considered ‘Red lines’ which cannot be compromised under any circumstances (i.e. if the following are not met, calls cannot take place):

  1. The date/time for the session will be agreed in advance between the volunteer & the school/centre
  2. The CL (or an authorised representative)  will use their system access information/email details to set-up/convene the call
  3. The CL will be in attendance on the call throughout the duration
  4. There will be no direct contact between the volunteer & student(s) outside the supervised medium of the call
  5. Calls may be recorded by the originator at their discretion

We recommend that you take the time to introduce yourself to the Business Adviser (BA) and that you are present for the student company’s first few meetings. This can  help with the early discussions and  build the students’  confidence and relationship with their BA.   Please note, any meetings which take place place online (via zoom/microsoft teams etc.) will need to be organised through the school and will require a teacher present. Where students are messaging their BA through YE Digital Connect, teachers will not need to be present as this system is fully moderated.

To support your understanding of how your role and the BA role differs please refer to the table below:

Role/Responsibility

Centre Lead

Business Adviser

Recruiting and signing students up and registering the student company onto the Programme on YE Online
Ensuring students have access to school resources, e.g. room for meetings with access to digital projection, room with equipment or tools. Promoting the Centre’s participation in the Programme with staff colleagues and Senior Team
Welcoming the BA and being available as the ongoing point of contact for BA, as required. Ensuring that the BA is made aware of centre-specific safeguarding policies and procedures
Regularly attending weekly board meetings (if these meetings are held remotely over zoom/microsoft teams the Centre Lead will also need to be present)
Ensuring that the teams operate within necessary legal parameters, the Programme rules and sound practices (see Operating Framework).
Ensuring that the team understand and follow sensible financial management practices and maintain an appropriate level of financial control
Facilitating the experiential learning opportunity
Observing the team in action and helping all team members to make an appropriate contribution
Helping the team to establish appropriate communication mechanisms, (which can include the CL and BA in a suitable, safe fashion)
Encouraging the students, fostering their enthusiasm and focus, and helping them recover from setbacks as necessary
Sharing lessons and experiences to enhance the realism of the Programme experience and reinforce learning
Securing permissions in line with school policy for students to attend external events where appropriate  e.g. sales or competition events
Helping the teams make the necessary preparations for key events such as local sales events and the competition
> Expectations of Business Advisers

There are a series of expectations which the CL and BA should have when they are working together:

  • BAs endeavour to support meetings regularly, or communicate in advance if they are unable to attend; if a recurring commitment means that the BA is no longer able to support the team adequately then this should be discussed and YE notified so that a replacement BA can be identified
  • CLs should try to be flexible in accommodating the needs of the BA in making meeting arrangements; most student companies meet at the same time each week and this needs to match the availability of the BA
  • CLs should help to set meeting standards during the first few sessions and address any poor behaviours by the students; it should not be expected that the BA will do this
  • CLs and BAs should feel able to raise issues about their working relationship or contributions and how things could be improved
> Forming a relationship with the BA

As well as forming an effective relationship themselves, the BA and CL can enhance the Programme experience by working closely with the student company’s MD:

  • The CL by sharing some of the administration tasks, e.g. liaising with the local YE team regarding events, acting as a figurehead for the Programme within the centre
  • The BA by helping them develop the necessary leadership and management skills, e.g. in running effective meetings and encouraging their peers to make decisions and complete the actions assigned to them.

BAs are very valuable volunteers who give up their time to help the students and should be thanked and recognised appropriately. Introducing them to the Senior Management of the school/college is a positive way of making them feel valued.