About the organisation
“FOR TEENAGERS, BY TEENAGERS”. Orbit was established by 17 year old entrepreneur Kieran Aitken, whom after running several businesses since the age of 11, employing nine people, realised that the current enterprise programmes were not getting enough engagement, and a breath of fresh air was needed.
Orbit is the teenage business incubator. Sir Tom Hunter and RBS fell in love with the concept, and have helped back the development of our programme and our launch, and we hope you will be one of the many schools whom will also fall in love with our programme.
We offer one programme. We focus on perfecting that one programme. It’s free, and it doesn’t take up any teacher or class time.
We target 16-18 year olds to our LaunchPads (meeting rooms), located in major city centres.
The teenagers will meet there once per week, on a weekday evening from 6pm – 8pm, and will come every week over a 15 week period, from September to December.
The Programme involves teenage participants launching real profit generating, part time businesses.
In our launchpads, every teenage participant is assigned a business mentor, whom is a real entrepreneur. This entrepreneur provides tailored advice to the teenage participant, and guides every individual participant on a 1:1 basis into setting up a business.
The fifteen week programme includes fifteen 1:1 mentoring sessions for the participants; access to web learning content; access to information guides on entrepreneurship; fifteen workshops which cover everything from sales and marketing, to finance and website development; A group environment where young people can network with each other, collaborate, and solve real business issues
One of the most important aspects to our programme is our special guest visitors. We have previously had Sir Tom Hunter, Ewan Hunter (CEO of the Hunter Foundation), Evelyn McDonald (CEO of EDGE Fund), the Mexican Government, and Paul Merrick (Real Estate Developer) among many more top entrepreneurs visit the young people. All the young people get the chance to speak on a one to one basis with each of these amazing contacts.
Our programme has launched 13 new businesses so far, and is on track to launch 88 new businesses. Secondary Schools are signing up rapidly; with Orbit gaining around seven new high schools per week in the Greater Glasgow Area alone.
We noticed three main problems facing the young workforce of today:
- A lack of credibility. Young people are losing out on employment and higher education activities simply because they are not perceived to have the skills or experience of older counterparts. Orbit tackles this by building credibility in our participants. We give each of them a reference from a top business leader. Also, giving a 17 year old the power to say that they have ran their own business before is a massive credibility boost to the students.
- The infamous skills gap. Orbit has a programme which has proven to build skills in young people. We have leading psychologists, neurologists, business leaders and entrepreneurs contribute in the making of our programme, and they help ensure that we adopt the best methodology that is proven to build skills in young people.
- Finally, we build the skills in an engaging way. We don’t play pointless games or run pointless activities which teenagers don’t engage with. The programme is completely authentic, which drives engagement up, and the teenagers also have monetised incentives as they earn real profits from their business.
A number of our senior pupils are currently working with Orbit. This is a business programme which mentors young people and allows them to create, run and manage their own business. On Monday 21 March the pupils got the opportunity to pitch their individual business ideas to Sir Tom Hunter. This provided a fabulous opportunity for the pupils to meet a hugely successful entrepreneur and hear his advice. Sir Tom was genuinely impressed by our pupils and I am sure this is an experience which will have a positive and lasting influence on them. Mrs Methven, Employability Officer, Saint Benedict's High School