SuperJam entrepreneur Fraser Doherty gave an inspiring presentation to sixth form students taking part in Junior Achievement Isle of Man’s Company Programme. Fraser, 23, created his SuperJam business when he was just 14 after using his grandmother’s recipes to make jam to sell at farmers’ markets and delicatessens. SuperJam now supplies over 2,000 supermarkets around the world including outlets in Australia, Russia, Denmark, Finland and Ireland and the company’s products can be found in many major UK outlets. Fraser spoke to around 120 sixth form students who gathered at the Manx Museum for the event sponsored by Manx Telecom.
David Smith, Marketing Director at Manx Telecom, who was one of the speakers, commented:
“Fraser’s story is tremendously inspiring and he was an ideal choice to speak to students taking part in Junior Achievement’s Company Programme. The Programme is excellent for encouraging young people to be enterprising, to show creativity and initiative, and to learn practical skills which they can apply in the real world of business.”
Also present at the Manx Museum event was a team of students from Ballakermeen High School. Katie Banks, Tegan Dixon, Noura Gomaa, Joe Hillard, Sophie Kermode and Chloë Shimmin created a company called Rejuven8 and in March this year they won the title ‘Junior Achievement Student Company of the Year’. Their company created themed sweet bags for corporate events and went on the represent Junior Achievement Isle of Man at the European finals held in Bucharest in August. During their presentation they shared their experiences with students on this year’s Junior Achievement Company Programme and passed on their top tips for running a successful business. Junior Achievement’s Company Programme gives hundreds of students each year the opportunity to prepare for their working life through the experience of running their own company, supported by volunteer advisers from business. The Company Programme involves students aged 15 to 19 setting up and running their own business over the course of one academic year. They elect a board of directors, raise share capital, and then develop, market and finance a product or service of their choice. The teams compete with other students from across the Island to represent the Isle of Man at the European Company of the Year Competition.
Sue Cook, Junior Achievement Chief Executive, said:
“All the students found the talks by all the speakers to be really inspiring. And hearing first hand about Fraser’s journey from making jam for local markets to the SuperJam brand being sold on the shelves of supermarkets such as Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s gave encouragement to all the students on our Company Programme. The Programme is about making young people think seriously about creating their own business, and Fraser’s story is a fine example of what can be achieved based on a simple but brilliant idea.”
Manx Telecom supports the Company Programme by funding talks by inspirational business people and by sponsoring fundraising events. In 2011 Manx Telecom sponsored a visit to the Island by Nick Hewer from the BBC’s The Apprentice show. The company is also sponsoring a charity show at the Villa Marina on November 30 which will feature stars from The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent with all funds from the concert going to Junior Achievement Isle of Man.