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June 2023

YMCA training and HP LIFE courses taught Cameron Early the skills and knowledge needed to take his budding business from bedroom to bank.

Cameron Early is an accomplished coder and maker and a member of his local YMCA in Glasgow, Scotland.  He is passionate about skills development and believes all young people should have access to maker spaces and tech incubators, such as those provided by YMCA, where they can learn in-demand skills and explore entrepreneurial ideas.

Like most of us, Cameron looked forward to spending his first Christmas after the pandemic with his family and friends. He was keen to mark the occasion by giving each of them a unique keepsake. Using the skills he had developed at the YMCA, Cameron designed and built a 3D-printed, battery-operated clock to replicate one from a TV show he and his friends had enjoyed watching during lockdown.

Cameron was delighted to receive positive reactions to his gift. Realizing there could be a market for his clock, he created an Etsy store, CameronMakesThings, where he could test his hunch. At the same time, he began thinking about developing a business to sell other products. To help him get started, staff at the YMCA introduced Cameron to HP LIFE.

The free business skills training program from the HP Foundation can be accessed online via the HP LIFE platform and mobile app, as well as offline through Learning Equality’s Kolibri platform. The program gives people all over the world the opportunity to learn in-demand skills and core business concepts—whether they want to enhance their education, start their own business, or secure a better job—by providing more than 30 accessible training courses in eight languages. It is also an adaptable educational resource used by trainers, educators, and mentors to enrich curricula, support business creation, and improve employability skills.

Cameron enrolled in several HP LIFE courses covering topics including marketing, finance and selling online, gaining the knowledge and confidence to develop his fledgling business.

“As someone without previous knowledge of running an enterprise, I found the HP LIFE courses engaging. The interactive content and videos made it fun to learn, and I quickly realized I had developed my enterprise back to front, creating a product before a business,” said Cameron  “It led me to question why young people are not encouraged to develop a business while in school. If I had had access to the HP LIFE program during high school, just think where my business would be today.”

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