A business flow chart written in chalk on a blackboard

Students run virtual businesses from their classrooms as part of the programme

Working as a team, solving problems, communicating clearly – these are among the important skills that thousands of young people in the US will develop through a programme backed by HSBC.

The bank has pledged USD750,000 to support a business simulation programme run by the non-profit organisation Virtual Enterprises International (VEI).

The initiative lets US students in high school run their own virtual business from their classroom. Guided by mentors from companies including HSBC, they take responsibility for every aspect of running an enterprise – from developing a business plan to paying wages and taxes. 

Through VEI we are able to offer our employees an opportunity to bring their expertise directly into the classroom

The hands-on experience gives students a taste of the world of work and an insight into areas including leadership and finance.

The grant from HSBC marks a new stage in a partnership between the bank and VEI that stretches back more than 20 years. The latest funding will help VEI deliver the programme, which has run in more than 500 schools since it began in 1996, in a further 150 over the next two years.

Iris Blanc, Executive Director of VEI, said: “HSBC is making it possible for us to teach thousands more students about business by running one themselves. After they complete our programme, our students are equipped with leading-edge business experience that they can use in their college and business careers.”

As well as providing financial support, HSBC is encouraging its own employees to volunteer their time and share their expertise with students in the programme.

HSBC’s Maureen Gillan-Myer meets a student taking part in the programme

HSBC’s Maureen Gillan-Myer meets a student taking part in the programme

Maureen Gillan-Myer, Head of Human Resources, HSBC USA, said: “What has been especially meaningful to us is that through VEI we are able to offer our employees an opportunity to bring their expertise directly into the classroom to support some very talented young people who may become the business leaders of the future.”

Supporting skills

HSBC’s partnership with VEI is in line with its recent pledge to help 1 million people around the world develop the skills they need to thrive in the modern workplace.

By 2020, the bank will give USD80 million to charities that help people develop employment-related skills. It will also continue to encourage its employees to provide support by volunteering their time and skills.

Worldwide, HSBC employees volunteered for a total of 272,000 hours during the working day in 2017, supporting a broad range of causes and charities.

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