Spotlight on Jack Wratten

21 May 2013

Jack Wratten

This week the spotlight is on Jack Wratten, Citrus Saturday Manager, UCL Advances.

What is your role and what does it involve?

I’m managing the setting up and running of a new charitable activity called Citrus Saturday, which is about teaching young people (usually 16 and under) about entrepreneurship. The aim is to raise their aspirations, increase their employability skills and broaden their future work options.

We do this by providing a project template to any organisation that works with young people. The young people work through our Entrepreneurship Guide and use our videos to learn about the key elements of starting a business, and then they start their own market stall enterprise making and selling lemonade to the public.

We provide everything the organisation need to run the workshops and make the market stall – the young people learn so much, and everyone has a great time!

These activities happen throughout the year, and culminate on Citrus Saturday (first Saturday each July) when all the groups involved run their market stalls. We’re working across the UK and Ireland and are expanding into Germany, France and Belgium during 2013.

The intention is that Citrus Saturday becomes a recognised model worldwide for helping young people learn about and experience business.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I joined UCL in 1998 to study Biochemistry as an undergraduate and worked in a laboratory in the Pharmacology Department from 1999 to 2007 when I left, started a series of different businesses, including a successful non-profit social enterprise. This led to work in the voluntary sector, particularly around social enterprise, managing volunteers and particularly training and supporting other organisations in both. Returning to UCL in August 2012 has been a pleasure, bringing with it the fascinating and challenging task of developing and creating the new Citrus Saturday charity.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

We first ‘released into the wild’ the Citrus Saturday project template in December 2012, when UCL volunteers from the Students in Free Enterprise society (SIFE, now called Enactus) worked with our template in Langdon Park School in East London. They had a great time working with the pupils and they set up market stalls for them to sell their lemonade from on UCL campus. It was a great success, with 15 young people experiencing what it’s like to run a small business for the first time. It was also the first time for these youngsters that they had been in a university, and the first time we let another group use the model. The SIFE volunteers did an excellent job and have been very helpful in testing our template.

A video of what some of the young people though can be found on our website and here: http://goo.gl/w2Tmb

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of you to-do list?

I’ve just recruited a team of project assistants, so am very busy training them on how things work so they can each take responsibility for different part of the Citrus Saturday project. We deliver Citrus Saturday locally in Camden ourselves, using the template, so we will be recruiting many UCL students to help with that very soon!

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Film = Withnail and I

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Clement Freud.

What advice would you give your younger self?

“Just get on with it!”

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I used to have a hidden piercing!

What is your favourite place?

The seafront in Whitstable where I grew up