YES! The next generation is ready.
For four years now, our employees have been travelling throughout the country in autumn and winter, visiting secondary and vocational schools. There, they walk young people through the basics of holding a successful sales discussion or putting together an appealing trade fair stand, while also offering them a glimpse into their professional lives along with the bigger social and economic picture. This was also the case this year. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 lessons were held virtually instead of physically.
Swiss Prime Site is a partner of YES Young Enterprise Switzerland, with a particular focus on promoting the non-profit organisation’s Company Programme. «By supporting YES, we want to build a bridge between business and training. I firmly believe that young people will get long-term benefits from this networking», says René Zahnd. The CEO of Swiss Prime Site is an enthusiastic and committed supporter of the business training organisation.
He has sat on the board of YES Young Enterprise Switzerland since 2017, and also took on the role of Deputy Chairman this year. Seit 2017 ist er im Vorstand von YES Young Enterprise Switzerland, wo er sich seit diesem Jahr auch als Vizepräsident engagiert. And he has been a volunteer as well. er war auch schon als Volunteer dabei. «My work as a volunteer brought me enormous pleasure. By sharing my personal and professional experience with students, I could play an active part in motivating and inspiring them for business. I could engage them in dialogue and be there as they first confront their roles in the world of work – and that’s something they did with interest and passion.»
Entrepreneurship from the ground up
In the Company Programme, students establish a company and manage it for one year. They learn how to put together a business plan and find backers, what the different parts of an annual report mean and how to develop a successful sales and marketing concept. In the sales and stand design workshops, our volunteers help the young participants prepare to present their ideas at trade fairs.
«Every year, it’s exciting to see the products that students bring to market. We help them to hone in on customer benefits, define the target group more closely and improve their presentation on the market. What’s particularly enjoyable is seeing these young people, who are still inexperienced to begin with, present themselves at the national competition as self-confident young entrepreneurs and realising that they have put a lot of our tips to work», explains Nicole Stamm, Head of Event Management and Sponsoring. Mladen Tomic, Head of Group Communications, adds: «It was through my work that I first came into contact with YES Young Enterprise Switzerland. From the outset, I was excited by the opportunities that this programme offers students. And it’s also exciting to see how persistent and meticulous the participants are in developing their business ideas, how they consistently put them into action and surpass themselves.»
Those who succeed at the trade fairs then get to sell their products for two days at the national finals of the Company Programme at Zurich's main station. Swiss Prime Site presents the Best Marketing & Sales Award at this event and provides its employees for the jury work. One winning company will be chosen from the 25 mini-companies taking part in the final. This company will then have the opportunity to travel to the European finals, which is hosted by the umbrella organisation Junior Achievement (JA) Europe.
One for all. All for one.
Christoph Jockers, Executive Assistant CEO, also supports YES as a volunteer. «When I was a student, I got to experience how valuable and enriching it is to exchange ideas with personalities from business. On the one hand, it helps you recognise overarching contexts and the real-world relevance of what you learn. On the other, you can benefit from a huge wealth of experience. I find it immensely motivating that I now get to empower young people to act as entrepreneurs in this way. I hope I am making a small contribution to promoting entrepreneurship in our country.»
Along with entrepreneurial abilities, the students develop their personal skills and social competencies. They solve problems, get their first taste of management, learn how to work as a team and conduct themselves professionally. They also strengthen their initiative and sense of responsibility and discover what it means to work independently.
Bastian Zarske Bueno, Head of Group Corporate Ventures & Innovation, commented: «As an alumnus of the YES Company Programme, I have experienced first-hand what it means for young school-aged people to get fired up for business. As young entrepreneurs, we faced a wide range of challenges, prospects and opportunities. It allowed me to discover and develop my expertise and soft skills early on. That unleashed unexpected potential in me. Later, this experience benefited me enormously in my private life, my studies and my career. The access to business and the can-do mentality that you learn were also a plus. Now, as a volunteer, I am keen to open the door for the next generation by supporting and advising them on their entrepreneurial journey.»
Sustainability is future viability
Swiss Prime Site employees are given one day a year to use for a charitable cause of their choice. This entitlement is meant to strengthen their awareness for responsible, community thinking and acting, so that they live out the company’s values and pass them on. The volunteer work and our commitment to the YES Company Programme is one of Swiss Prime Site’s key social initiatives. As part of our sustainability goals, we are committed to the development of further education and training courses for all. This is our way of contributing to meaningful and necessary training for the next generation.
YES is a non-profit organisation that develops and supports practice-oriented programmes in the economic field for students, with the aim of creating a link between economy and school. The organisation offers five different practice-oriented educational programmes. The focus lies on young people who are empowered to act entrepreneurially and to develop an understanding of social, ecological and economic interrelations as well as to convince as personalities. The programmes prepare students to responsibly find their way in the global economy.