English Secondary Students’ Association
Rajeeb graduated with First Class Honors in June 2008 from the University of Oxford in Economics & Management. Whilst at University he was the longest serving President of Oxford Entrepreneurs, one of the largest networks of student entrepreneurs in Europe.
Rajeeb founded ESSA whilst still at school, aged 17, for which he has received numerous accolades, including: an award from Channel 4 / NESTA’s “Bedroom Britain Campaign” (recognising young entrepreneurial talent in Britain), a Wavemakers Award (from Sir John Major), an UnLtd Level 2 Award, the Bank of England’s Windsor Fellowship, the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Award and Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts (as part of the RSA Young Leaders Award).
Rajeeb is associated with a range of charities/organizations, which include: being a Trustee of the Phoenix Education Trust; a Trustee of UnLtd – the £100m Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs; a Commissioner on the Carnegie UK Trust’s Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society; and an Advisory Board Member of the UK-India Business Council (UKIBC), which involved being part of Gordon Brown’s Ministerial visit to India in January 2008.
Rajeeb’s latest entrepreneurial venture is Enternships.com, a service providing “entrepreneurial internships” by connecting talented students to SMEs/fast-growth companies which is officially launching with a new portal in November 2008. He has also been headhunted by the Government’s Global Entrepreneur Programme (run by UK Trade & Investment) to spearhead the development of an innovative early-stage Venture Capital Fund.
ESSA is a national young-people led organization which works to empower students in secondary education. School is the place where most young people spend the majority of their time. It is perhaps the most important community, other than their homes, in which they participate. For many it is a positive experience but for others it is something to be endured rather than enjoyed. Despite being at the heart of education, students rarely get the chance to engage in a meaningful way within the school system and in decision making either within their school or on a national level. If we can provide a facility for the voice of secondary school students to be heard, and their rights addressed, we can engage the student population at a younger age and promote active participation of people in society.
ESSA promotes the benefits of young people becoming part of the decision-making process that affects their school lives and provides individual students with support for voicing their views and opinions. This support is particularly necessary for ensuring the participation of the less vocal and most disenfranchised members of the school community.
In 2008, ESSA has been working to engage approximately 8000 students via its “Campaign for Change” program which equips students with the skills to run campaigns and make a difference in schools, colleges, and youth groups. In particular ESSA has expanded its work with those with “special educational needs” and those “not in education, employment or training” to ensure that all young people have the chance to participate fully and integrate into the education system.