Youngest ever Citrus Saturday entrepreneurs take to selling on UCL campus

6 February 2014

Pupils from Holy Trinity Primary School in London’s Camden learnt the ropes of entrepreneurship when they set up lemonade stands across the campus of UCL last Thursday (30th January 2014).

The pupils, all between 8 and 9 years old, set up four stalls across campus, and were the youngest participants in UCL’s flagship Citrus Saturday programme, which organised the event. 

Citrus Saturday is an initiative set up by UCL Advances, the university’s centre for entrepreneurship and business interaction, to teach enterprise skills in young people.

The initiative is the brainchild of Timothy Barnes – the Director of UCL Advances – after travelling to a business conference in the US and hearing of a similar approach being pioneered there.

Bottles of Citrus Saturday lemonade

The pupils from Holy Trinity Primary School were assisted by volunteers from UCL, and competed to give the best sales pitch, produce the best promotional poster, and produce the best recipe for lemonade.

Holy Trinity School is involved through the British Council in an EU Comenius project called Europe’s Got Talent: How to succeed in the world of work, the aim of which is to develop entrepreneurial skills in young people across Europe.

The school is partnered with schools across Europe including Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Turkey for the two-year British Council programme, and UCL will share details of its Citrus Saturday initiative with teachers from these partner schools when they visit London in March.

"The resources we were given to plan in school were very useful and helped the children create a solid business plan in advance.  They quickly got into the mindset of an entrepreneur and several of them did many hours unsolicited work at home on extra marketing ideas such as jingles and banners. 

“It was a really hands-on experience and a fantastically fun way to develop literacy and numeracy skills. I have truly never seen the children so excited as when they were adding, subtracting and counting real money to work revenue, costs and profits,” said Sara Hawley, teacher at Holy Trinity Primary school, when speaking about the day.

Jack Wratten, Manager of Citrus Saturday at UCL, added:

“Citrus Saturday has already proved a hit internationally and we’re always looking for ways for more kids to get involved.

“What sets it apart from other projects to get kids interested in business is that it plays to what they want – a fun, competitive day with their mates which gives them the opportunity to learn new skills and believe they can do new things.”