Cameron Early is a 17-year-old young person from Glasgow, Scotland, who has been involved with his local YMCA for many years. Cameron has taken part in several World YMCA online events during the pandemic focusing on technology and education. He is an accomplished coder and maker who believes that all young people should have access to makerspaces and tech incubators which he benefited through the YMCA that has led him to his new enterprise.
Last Christmas, Cameron wanted to do something special for his friends and family. Due to the pandemic, this was the first Christmans that friends and family could come together and celebrate. He wanted to gift them something unique and not store bought to commemorate the occasion.. Through the skills and experience Cameron developed at his local YMCA makerspace, he designed and built a 3D printed, battery operated clock from a TV show they had all watched in lockdown.
As you can imagine,Cameron’s friends and family members loved this handmade, 3D printed clock as it was one of a kind. Following the positive feedback,he quickly realized that perhaps this is something that he could sell online. He then created an Etsy Store, CameronMakesThings,which has received over 75 sales from across the UK.
Like many small startups, his initial success was unintentional and Cameron was creating and building this product from his bedroom in Glasgow. He began to think about other products or services his store could sell but did not know where to start or how to develop an established business.
Through the YMCA, Cameron received the opportunity to learn how to grow his business in the HP LIFE programme. Cameron undertook several modules and gained a better understanding of marketing, finance and selling online.He now has the confidence to shift his mindset through the HP LIFE programme that evolved his knowledge and understanding to develop his business that he did not learn through school or through the YMCA previously.
“As someone without previous knowledge of running an enterprise, I found the HP LIFE courses to be engaging.The interactive content and videos made it fun to learn and I quickly realised that I developed my enterprise back to front, creating a product first without the basics of developing an enterprise first,” said Cameron “It led me to question why young people are not encouraged to develop an enterprise while in school. We are encouraged to think about college, university, or an apprenticeship to get a job., If I had access to the HP LIFE programme at the YMCA last year or through high school, just think where my business would be today.”