Eastbourne based Brandon Relph is proving beyond doubt that if you have the right skills-set there are plenty of opportunities to carve a successful future.
The 19 year old was already working on his first business when he asked to participate in the Young Enterprise Company Programme in Year 10, at the age of just 14. As Deputy Managing Director and IT Director for his YE company, Quantique, he was able to gain valuable experience, trading and networking, as well as making presentations and teamworking which helped him in ways his own IT gaming business could not.
Now on this third business he has learned a great deal and used much of that learning to decide on where the business opportunity is now. He believes that over a 50 year working life young people may now have ten different careers. So the broad range of skills and flexibility he learned that precious year on the YE Company Programme at Bishop Bell School, now St Catherine’s College, have been vital. The team won the local finals, were Sussex company of the year and were awarded Runner Up at the South East Finals
Since 2015 Brandon has set up a business consultancy working with large organisations on developing their strategy for working with young people. Also, his latest embryonic business, to be launched early in 2020, is a TV production company aimed specifically at providing multi-platform programmes for under 24 year olds. Brandon is well-placed, having built a network of excellent contacts and, having recognised a market need, he is capitalising on the demographic he knows and understands well.
Over the years Brandon has kept in close contact with the senior management at Young Enterprise. He has helped judge the competition and compered regional heats, which has given him plenty of opportunities to meet with and talk to many of the groups of students participating. He is inspired by the movement towards sustainable businesses as evidenced by recent companies.
Brandon said, “Young people are focusing on our environment and building their businesses around products that are either recycled or help to stop the pollution of the environment. Digital skills are also very important for all businesses and Young Enterprise is focusing attention on that development.
“For me it is wonderful to see how passionate the teams are about our environment. It is important to see how they are thinking and what they plan for their own future. They are budding entrepreneurs and employees, really eager to do well. The world of work is constantly changing but the Young Enterprise Company Programme teaches all the core skills they will need when they enter the workforce including resilience and flexibility.
“We are now in a period of dramatically shifting times when society is changing considerably. People starting new businesses will be ensuring they are more sustainable. Having the confidence that comes from running a business in a safe environment makes a huge difference to your approach to the world of work because anything is possible and you understand what is required of you and how to find the skills you need to make things happen.
“Companies can get left behind very quickly,” he added. “My new venture is already disrupting the ‘old school’ industry of television, and people need to realise that things must be done differently. I am only too aware that we need to be prepared for how the world is changing and how flexible we need to be to capitalise on it. I am incredibly optimistic as I am working with some amazing people.
Brandon concluded, “Hopefully many more young people will have the opportunity I enjoyed through Young Enterprise now that all schools have an enterprise adviser and since OFSTED school inspections now focus on how well schools meet the national careers guidance benchmarks.”
For further information about Young Enterprise locally, please visit www.yeew.org.uk or call Matt Ryan on 07867 001515.