“Speed coaching?” questioned my colleague. “Do you coach them how to run faster?” Not quite. I was explaining how I was about to spend my lunch break; speed coaching high school students. “It’s more like speed dating – if that doesn’t sound too odd when referring to teenagers – but with a business twist.”

I was going to be part of E-Day which is the start of The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme for this year. This scheme allows student to set up their company, create real products or services, compile and implement a business plan and make real profit or loss.

On the opening day coaches with a business background volunteer their time so that each group of students gets to discuss a business idea with a variety of people – for 5 minutes! I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for students to be able to connect with a range of business people and discuss their fledging ideas.

It’s not just the students who get a lot out of the event. I got to practice my listening skills, encourage others to go for their dreams and provide extra thoughts and improvement tips. As there were a large number of coaches (a fantastic problem for the organisers to have!) the coaches sometimes doubled up with a group. This was a real learning for me I was able to listen to how others, with very different backgrounds to mine, approached each business. Some were big picture thinkers; others were all about the numbers.

I left the event exhausted from all the quick fire rounds yet excited to be a part of the students’ journey.

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