YE Trading Station – image of teenagers looking at mobile phones

Creating a Drupal-powered platform for student businesses

Young Enterprise

Young Enterprise (YE), with the backing of HSBC bank, wanted to create a UK-wide platform for enabling young people to sell their products online and developing their digital skills.

The brief

YE briefed OWA to develop and design a new Drupal-powered system enabling young people to list and sell their products – in a similar format to established online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon. This would launch as a minimum viable product (MVP) allowing user feedback and additional functionality to be incorporated into future development phases of the platform.

About Young Enterprise

Young Enterprise is a national charity working with more than a third of schools in England and Wales to prepare young people for life beyond education.

YE Trading Station welcome screen built by OWA in Drupal
YE Trading Station search built by OWA in Drupal
YE logo added to Drupal platform built by OWA

Our approach

From the outset OWA worked in step with the project team to ensure the planning was right for YE, its stakeholders and user-testers. This was critical to ensure the underlying logic of the Drupal implementation would work for the MVP launch and accommodate future enhancements once live. This collaborative approach intensified as the pandemic struck and necessitated the switch to fully remote ways of working.

Detailed scoping identified the necessary safeguards required for a system where the primary users would be minors. We proposed a detailed plan and custom logic to ensure the right user permissions and system control mechanism would be in place, enabling students, various moderators and admin roles to use the portal safely at each level. This included a multi-layer approval to ensure teachers and parents were able to help, manage and ensure suitability of products, without the student business-owners feeling over-controlled. This bespoke logic was mapped and integrated into the Drupal CMS powering the marketplace-based system.

YE Trading Station product listing screen built by OWA in Drupal
YE Trading Station - image of teenagers talking
YE Trading Station log-in screen built by OWA in Drupal

How we helped

Trading Station is a project that benefited from a very flexible and collaborative approach to scoping, development and validation prior to its launch.


We worked very closely with the YE team and a wider group of its stakeholders and users to understand the requirements for students to be able to list their products online and help develop testing processes.


As part of the journey the young user undertakes on the Trading Station, it was important to YE that digital skills were embedded in the process, including: digital marketing, online customer service and safeguarding of an individual’s personal data


Since launch in late 2020, the YE Trading Station has continued to evolve and has had over 550 student companies list their products online and more than 500 orders made. OWA continues to maintain an open dialogue with YE to further enhance the platform and ensure it meets the young people’s ongoing needs.

From the outset, OWA worked in step with the project team to ensure the planning was right for YE, its stakeholders and user-testers.
OWA team member in conversation

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