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  • Alice: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Alice.

  • Rob: And I'm Rob.

  • Alice: So Rob, did you have a part time job while you were at university?

  • Rob: Yes, I worked in the student bar.

  • Alice: Did you learn anything from the experience?

  • Rob: I learned how to pull a decent pint.

  • Alice: Did you learn anything else?

  • Rob: Yes, I learned how to add up.

  • Alice: Didn't they teach you that at school?

  • Rob: I wasn't good at doing sums in my head ... you know ... mental arithmetic.

  • But I got pretty good at it as a barman.

  • They didn't have computerized cash registers in my day, you see.

  • Alice: I didn't realize you were that old, Rob!

  • Anyway, the subject of today's show is young business entrepreneurs.

  • So, can you answer this question:

  • How young were the founders of Facebook and Microsoft when they first set up their companies?

  • Were they... a) junior high-school students

  • b) high-school students

  • Or c) university students?

  • Rob: And Alice in case you think I don't know,

  • Facebook is an online social networking service

  • and Microsoft is a computer software company. OK?

  • Alice: Very good! Well done!

  • Rob: Well I'm going to say they were b) high-school students.

  • Alice: We'll find out if you chose the right answer later on in the programme.

  • But let's talk now about what drawbacks ... or disadvantages ... there are for young entrepreneurs.

  • What do you think, Rob?

  • Rob: Hmm. Well, I suppose one of the drawbacks of being young and your own boss

  • is that everyone who works for you is older than you!

  • Alice: Is that a drawback?

  • Rob: Well, let's consider a real case.

  • Young British entrepreneur Suleman Sacranie started his first company when he was 17,

  • followed by another business shortly afterwards.

  • Then while studying chemistry at university

  • he started his third company, an online version of the pound shop

  • or dollar store in the US where everything in the shop is priced at one pound.

  • Let's listen to Suleman Sacranie talking about his company.

  • Suleman Sacranie: I'm actually quite fortunate now, compared to what I was six months ago

  • because now I've got two additional directors who have grey hair.

  • It actually... commercial meetings are excellent now, you know.

  • But before that I think I came across quite professional but you could still tell they

  • were thinking in the back of their heads, 'I've got a kid sitting in front of me.'

  • Rob: So young entrepreneur Suleman Sacranie has got two grey-haired directors working with him now.

  • Alice: That's right, but how does having grey-haired executives on board help, Rob?

  • Rob: Well, 'executives' are people who run a business and on board means being part of a team.

  • Well, to answer your question, Alice, they bring experience to the table.

  • I have a few grey hairs you know ... you could learn a lot from me.

  • Alice: I do, Rob. Everyday.

  • And if you bring something to the table it means you provide something useful.

  • Well, what do you bring to the table, Rob?

  • Rob: Well, bad jokes, peanuts, crisps, cups of coffee, that sort of thing...

  • Alice: I was going to say a keen mind, in other words, a well-developed mind, and...

  • great business acumen!

  • Rob: Come on, you weren't going to say that!

  • Alice: You're right, I wasn't.

  • Acumen means good judgement.

  • But don't worry, you have an abundant enthusiasm that makes up for it.

  • But moving on now, do you think that school prepared you well for working life?

  • Rob: No, not really. I studied Latin at school, and I don't use that much.

  • And maths ... well, I never use trigonometry or calculus.

  • So I'm not sure how useful maths lessons were...

  • Alice: Yes, and you only learned to add up in the university bar after all...

  • Rob: Yes, but I am very good at it!

  • And the point is that I've got a fantastic job now.

  • And if you're really interested in something you can always acquire ... or get the skills you don't have.

  • Let's listen to successful young entrepreneur Jessica Rose talking about her experience.

  • She works with jewellery.

  • Jessica Rose: I didn't need all these previous skills and experience to go out there and start on my own.

  • When I first started I had no business training whatsoever, no jewellery training whatsoever,

  • but I kind of woke up one day and thought I'd really love to be a jewellery designer.

  • Which is kind of a tricky position to be in,

  • because it's you know, a lot of people would say and did say, well, you know, you're mad.

  • Alice: So Jessica Rose used her savings to learn jewellery making

  • and then set up her own jewellery-making business.

  • Rob: And despite setting out with no business experience and no jewellery training,

  • her enthusiasm for the article paid off.

  • Alice: And that means it was successful.

  • Rob: A bit like me...

  • Alice: Yes. OK, I think it's time for the answer to today's quiz question.

  • I asked: How young were the founders of Facebook and Microsoft when first set up their companies?

  • Were they... a) junior high-school students,

  • b) high-school students

  • Or c) university students?

  • Rob: I said b) high-school students.

  • Alice: And you were wrong, I'm afraid, Rob. Sorry.

  • Rob: Again.

  • Alice: Yes. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates were both university students when they started their companies.

  • Zuckerberg was studying at Harvard in the US when he launched Facebook in 2004.

  • And Bill Gates took a break from Harvard to launch Microsoft in 1976, but never returned to his studies.

  • Rob: Both at Harvard ... that's a coincidence.

  • I wonder if the bar there was any good...

  • Now can we hear the words we learned today?

  • Alice: Yes. OK. They are:

  • drawbacks

  • executives

  • on board

  • bring something to the table

  • keen

  • (business) acumen

  • acquire

  • paid off

  • Rob: Thanks, Alice. Well, that's the end of today's 6 Minute English.

  • We hope you've enjoyed the new vocabulary we brought to the table.

  • Alice: Very good.

  • Rob: Please join us again soon!

  • Both: Bye.

Alice: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Alice.

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A2 UK rob alice jewellery young high school university

BBC 6 Minute English June 09, 2016 - Young and in business

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    Adam Huang posted on 2016/06/19
Video vocabulary