Tom Tobia

I am a designer, and the founder of Makerversity, a making and learning space at Somerset House, London.

Additionally I work with people, groups, organisations and institutions to design and explore ideas for social change. In particular, I'm interested in alternative education, building resilient populations, digital manufacturing, technology, food and how they all interconnect.

tom@tomtobia.com
+44 (0)7764 745 637

Search

Info

Find me on...

Meet Market: Earning While Learning

image

Meet Market supports young people to develop confidence, transferable skills, and potentially turn a profit by designing, developing and running their own market stalls.
image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

imageWe believe in the power of using real life entrepreneurship as a learning tool. We also believe that the immediacy of Markets makes them the perfect platform to take a hands-on approach to professional (and social) development through entrepreneurship, with limited risk and within a short time-frame.

Pilot:

We are running a Meet Market pilot in London during April and May 2012. We will work with a small group of young people to collaboratively test, design and refine the programme in a real-life context.

Over the seven day programme each participant will design and develop their own market stall business (or work in teams - it’s up to the them). With a £50 pot each, participants will be able to buy a range of commodities and support services from printing or financial advice to eggs and flour from the ‘Meet Market High Street’.

Together we will make and promote each individual or team’s produce, product or service and get down to a London market to sell to the public over two days.

End of June - Evaluation:We’re just starting to evaluate the programme, and the learning, skills and personal development it has engendered. We will be working to understand important indicators for a range of desired outcomes that we can measure more reliably. Rav has given us a rather good head-start with this (above).

We have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, where we need to strengthen the programme and where we need expert help. We’ve started to build a team around the Meet Market that will hopefully ensure a sustainable and scalable future.

June 21st saw Kareem and Rav trading for the first time. Both spent a lot of time and effort digesting the information from Ben’s (Greenwich Market Manager) workshop about presentation, and really did themselves proud. Towards the end of Day 1, both guys had some stock left, and rather than being downbeat, they asked if they could come back the next day to sell out, which they did.

Both Kareem and Rav grew in confidence rapidly, and by the end of day 2 they were taking samples around the market, getting the banter going and selling left, right and centre. Rav has already booked her next days in on the stall for the coming weeks.

Why:

The term NEET implies that formal education, employment and training are the only ways for young people to move forward and achieve. We believe there is another way -  by working with and empowering young people to do things together for themselves entrepreneurship offers a great path to professional and personal development. The problem is this is normally inhibited by start-up costs, complex processes, a lack of structured support and the associated risk of failure.

We want draw another path for young people that doesn’t necessarily have to include formal employment, education or training. These provisions and structures don’t work for everyone, in many cases do not provide the journey through to increased opportunity or enjoyment, or simply don’t exist in the first place. Training and education can be prohibitively expensive and often aren’t delivering the skills development that some young people, or prospective employers want or need.

Meet Market will support young people and provide them the tools to understand their skills and passions and create pathways to turn those passions into something tangible.

Context:

Current economic and social change is having a dramatic impact on work. The idea that going through education to higher education, then into a job, working your way up and having a career set for life may no longer exist. Even if it does, it doesn’t work for
everyone.

Entrepreneurship is (and for a long time has been) seen as the foremost catalyst for economic recovery. Emphasis is often placed on front-end investment to stimulate growth and development and in many cases is totally appropriate. However, there are many opportunities for generating income that require little or none.

Markets provide an extremely fertile and useful environment to test ideas, meet your customers and build confidence and learning. We also feel the experience of taking ideas literally to market provides a whole bunch of other really useful benefits such as learning some business skills and hands-on making skills as well as quickly understanding ones strengths and weaknesses.

The Programme:

1. Meet Market Intro Workshop

This bit is kinda for us… We know you’re new to this, but we are too. We have ideas, lots of them and some are good, others not so. Before we all start the pilot proper we’d like to run through how we see it working and ask for you to help us make it amazing. Your input will shape your Meet Market experience and we’re excited to build the project with you.

2. What are you?

Day one proper is all about you! What do you like doing? What are you good at? How can we relate that to something you could take to market? Do you bake amazing cakes? Well, great - that’s an easy one. Are you amazing at keepy-uppy? Cool - lots of people would pay to be taught how to impress the ladies (or gents) with their football skills. Or, are you just amazing at the market banter? Could you go into partnership and be the front-man for another meet marketer?

Before we get into this we’ll spend the morning looking at markets, entrepreneurship, talking to young people who’ve made it, and how Meet Market can help you move forward after we’ve finished the pilot.

3. Building your empire…

Morning
We’ll spend some time looking at how to manage money, resources and time efficiently. This will be the chance to build on your idea and make it real.

Afternoon
So we’ve talked a lot by now. Talk is cheap unless it’s acted on and now’s the time. You’ll be taken to the Meet Market High Street, where you’ll be able to buy everything from eggs and butter to t-shirts, design services, business advice, bunting, print material etc. What you buy is up to you, and we’ll give you a budget of £50 to do it with.

4. Let’s Get Making…

Now we know what we’re selling, we’ve got the goods - let’s get making. Whether you’re baking or printing we’ll have the kit you need ready and it’ll be down to you to nail it (with our support when you want it). By the end of the day you’ll be ready to go to market.

5. Market Day 1

Roll up roll up! It’s time to sell. Together we’ll set up at one of London’s markets and get selling. It’ll be a long day but we’ll be there to help if you want us. Remember, the profit you make is yours to keep.

6. Market Day 2

You’re now a seasoned stallholder so we’ll leave you to it. We’ll come by and see how you’re doing but we know you’ll be doing a roaring trade so we don’t want to cramp your style.

7. Evaluation and moving forward…

How did it go? Did Meet Market do a good job supporting you? What could we do better? How can we help you moving forward? Would you like to work with us to support more young Meet Marketeers in future?

Loading posts...