As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility programme here at CGI, we use our experience as skilled IT professionals in our local communities to support and inspire the next generation.  Aligned with this, CGI is a corporate patron of The Prince’s Trust whose phenomenal work provides practical and financial support to the young people who need it most by developing key skills, confidence and motivation.

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Earlier this week, I was privileged to participate as a speaker on a business programme called 'Explore Enterprise' for the charity.  It’s a four-day intensive course for young people currently supported by the Trust, who are planning to set up their own businesses. The course provides an overview on the complexities of starting and running a business from types of trading to financial planning.

Prince’s Trust

It was my first personal experience of volunteering for The Trust, who invite leaders from different types of organisations to summarise their career and share their top tips for running a business. The people on the course I attended had really varied plans – from setting up a catering business, a Latino restaurant, sports camps, to devising a music app.  It was a hugely inspiring session.  It’s a brave move to set up your own business, and I hope my story and tips were able to help them on their journey.  There are lots of similarities - after all, CGI was started by two people in a garage and from that has grown into the 68,000 people business it is today.  Business principles whatever the size, remain the same and advice on how to engage and motivate employees, building resilience to battles, choosing and maintaining your vision and always keeping a close eye on the finances can be applied to any size or type of business.

In an era of growing youth disengagement and skills shortages, I believe that as business organisations we have a role to play in supporting the next generation.  As leaders we need to inspire our members to join in and make that inspiration and support happen. And as individuals we personally need to find the time too, to deliver on that inspiration.

People often say that after volunteering they feel like they have gained as much, if not more than the people they worked with.  In a room of 20 people, full of the confidence and passion to set up their own business, it would be difficult not to be inspired.

 

About this author

Picture of CGI’s CSR Team

CGI’s CSR Team

Corporate Responsibility is a key value at CGI. We recognise that we have a responsibility to the environment, our members, and to the communities in which we work.

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