AUTOGLASS® / BELRON CEO, Gary Lubner
“From our origins in South Africa more than 100 years ago, Belron has grown to be the world’s largest automotive glass repair and replacement specialist business, now trading in 34 countries. Corporate social responsibility is at the heart of Belron’s strategy and a key component is ‘Giving Back’ to the communities in which we operate.
Autoglass®, our UK subsidiary, has made investment in young people a key part of the local CR plan and the Tsu’Chu Biz programme has proved to be a powerful and highly effective vehicle through which to support young people in the Bedford area in acquiring new capabilities in the areas of entrepreneurship, leadership and communication, all skills which we value highly as a prospective employer.
The young people in the Bedford area who have attended the programme have gained huge amounts from the experience, including skills in teamwork, confidence and self-belief, knowledge of business finance and how to start up their own business. The course also addresses emotional intelligence and takes the students on an exceptional personal development four day journey which both our staff, teachers and parents have commented upon. These are the personal and professional skills that Belron seek in the recruitment of our own adult staff. The young peoples’ entrepreneurial spirit is further evidenced by the quality of the business ideas they have generated and there is also concrete evidence that the course has played a role in encouraging the students to consider higher education as an option for themselves. We are therefore delighted to be part of supporting the development of young people in this way.
What may not be immediately obvious is the benefit the programme has provided for the Autoglass® Managers who have been actively involved. They have had the opportunity to act as panel members when judging the contributions from students and to take the role of a business mentor in supporting both individual students and groups in developing their business ideas: in fact, members of the Autoglass® Executive team have taken on this responsibility and found it to be hugely beneficial.
Autoglass® has worked in partnership with The Challenge of Excellence for some 4 years, delivering 14 Tsu’Chu Biz programmes to 278 students and we would recommend this initiative as a way of making a positive difference in education as well as the local economy through raising the skill levels and aspirations of the young people involved.”
PEARS FOUNDATION, WILLIAM PEARS GROUP, Director – David Pears
“We believe as a family and as a Foundation the future of business is with our children. Having financially supported young people on several Tsu’Chu Biz courses as well as having attended and judged the business plan competitions on many courses it has been incredible to see how these teenagers have grown in such a short time. We believe this is an inspirational educational vehicle for the growth and development of our youth that should be promoted through all schools. It is up to business leaders of today to support and promote UK business overseas. It is fantastic to see how The Challenge of Excellence, an innovative, determined and visionary group of professional people through its Tsu’Chu Biz course is pioneering in the educational space not only in the UK but also in other parts of the world.”
KHALIFA FUND (UAE), Entrepreneurship Development Dept, Senior Financial Analyst – Hala Sarkis
“It was an honor to meet all of you, I am confident that we will coordinate and liaison with you closely in the near future. I personally enjoyed the Tsu’Chu experience and found it very interesting and beneficial to the students. I really liked the idea of inspiring students who want to learn about business in a different, fun way. The program developed the students’ personal and social skills and this was reflected in the presentations they prepared and the way they presented their business ideas to the Judges’ panel on Wednesday. The students’ evaluation shows the satisfaction and level of knowledge attained following the course.”
AUTOGLASS®, Marketing Director – Nick Henwood “You have created a unique platform though mentoring and football, to give kids improved levels of knowledge and slef confidence over a very short period of time. Autoglass® is very proud to support Tsu’Chu Biz and the work that they do, which, having witnessed it I think makes a significant difference to many individuals.”
BRIDGES VENTURES, CEO – Philip Horborough “I was genuinely impressed by both the quality of what you do and the presentations from the group. All of them presented well, however a few of them really managed to demonstrate a real understanding of the detail and numbers. Well done – a rewarding way to spend a Friday afternoon. I am pleased that the Team here will be supporting your next couple of courses and if there is anything else that we can do to support, then please let me know.”
PRICOA, Senior VP International Operations – Stephen Fairn ”It was an absolute pleasure working with you on the project, the kids were fantastic and the work you did to help prepare them was amazing, more schools should learn from this approach as it is the way forward for preparing young people for business.”
ROYAL ASCOT RACECOURSE, Operations Director – Ronnie Wilkie “I was extremely encouraged by the presentation and by the performance of the students, their firm handshakes and their extremely interestingly ideas. In these days, where it is fashionable to denigrate the youth, it was very refreshing to see these young people performing so effectively in my opinion, way beyond their years. They came up with some excellent business ideas which could undoubtedly be developed further and the judges unanimously wish them every success as their projects develop.”
AUTOGLASS®, Operations Director – David Meliveo “I found the whole day inspiring and very rewarding. It was brilliant to see the new generations getting excited about launching a business, they all worked hard and their presentations were very good. I'll be more than happy to support them if they want to go forward with any of the ideas presented.”
PIED PIPER, MD/Entrepreneur – Pavan Sharma “I’d just like to say how impressed I was with the students’ grasp of business acumen, if this is matched with what they’re learning on the pitch (teamship, leadership), Tsu’Chu Biz is helping to develop well rounded human beings who can use these hands-on skills to flourish in any industry that they choose. It’s the dream of millions to become a professional footballer, unfortunately we don’t all make it, Tsu’Chu Biz helps to make these dreams possible, whether it be on or off the football pitch – what a wonderful way to learn, I only wish they were around when I was at school! I really was impressed with how well you taught those kids business skills.”