Sonia Klein, Business Consultant and Entrepreneur
Masterclass – Girls into Business
How did you get involved with volunteering for Barnet EBP?
A friend emailed me about the programme knowing my keen interest in supporting girls to become economically independent via enterprise and entrepreneurship.
What programme did you volunteer on?
I volunteered for a one-day mentoring programme which provides an insight into business ownership. The day was structured as a competition where we provided a real-life business problem for teams to analysis and provide suggestions. This was supported by a session with a life coach and Q&A with the panel of businesswomen. It provided a well-rounded perspective to business ownership and inspired many to enrol onto a business study course.
Was it what you expected?
It was much more enjoyable than I had expected. The competition provided a level of excitement and engagement that cannot be achieved with simple speeches or presentation. The girls opened up and were offering solutions to business problems without worrying if they were right or wrong answers. I feel the day was a success and on a personal note, I felt very happy that we had motivated so many girls to explore their entrepreneurial skills.
What was your most memorable moment about the day and why?
In one team there were three girls who seemed a little distant or perhaps shy. After, a little coaxing they told me they were in a band. I was then able to explain how their band is a business with requirements of fund raising, promotion, accounts etc. Their eyes widened and they soon started to absorb the material on offer that day. At this moment they were able to translate academic pursuits such as a Business Studies qualification into real life application. I felt very satisfied with myself!!
What would you say to encourage/inspire someone who's not quite sure
if they would like to volunteer to volunteer?
We are all so busy with our extended to do lists, family and other obligations. However, juggling around your agenda to take a few hours to mentor simply make you feel good! Volunteering is a way of sharing your experiences and challenges with very innocent young people. You may be helping them to avoid some of your pitfalls or creating the next Richard Branson!
Would you volunteer again and why?
Yes. I would have loved some mentoring in my youth to help guide me through life. It is a very fulfilling few hours and can make a life time of difference to your audience.