A DryPal for purses

A Norwegian company started as a school project brings handbags protection

Photo courtesy of DryPal The DryPal keeps your handbag dry in the rain.

Photo courtesy of DryPal
The DryPal keeps your handbag dry in the rain.

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

Last year close to 12,000 pupils in Norwegian schools started up, ran, and liquidated a young enterprise as part of their education. One example is Dry Pal UB. It all started in the fall as five girls signed up for entrepreneurship class and started a young entrepreneur company at Foss College in Oslo. The entrepreneurs got the idea on a rainy day and discovered the need for a handbag protection. Not only did they want to protect the handbag by means of this product—a plastic cover for handbags—but also hopefully to reduce the consumption of handbags. They wanted the handbag to sustain less damage and therefore last longer. The cover has a design that makes it possible to fold and transport it in your handbag. The plastic is of high quality and will not show marks from being folded or used roughly. The young enterprise made it to the Norwegian final for young enterprises.

Since 1997 Young Enterprises Norway (Ungdoms Bedrift) has inspired young people to innovate and create value. They want to develop people’s skills and ability to master their futures, to be a driving force for value creation and innovation, and to make a significant contribution to the development of thriving local communities and sustainable global development. They want to teach children and young people to work as a team, be a reliable and long-term collaborator who bridges the gap between schools and business, and create meeting places and build networks, locally, nationally, and internationally. Young Enterprises gives young people opportunities to develop their creativity and self-confidence, motivating them to innovate and to create value. All activities are focused on “learning by doing.”

Photo courtesy of DryPal DryPal’s handbag protector is made of high-quality plastic in Norway.

Photo courtesy of DryPal
DryPal’s handbag protector is made of high-quality plastic in Norway.

Their company program gives students the experience of starting up a business within a supported framework. This is active learning—you learn more by doing than by watching and listening. Twenty studies on this type of education have reached the same conclusion—entrepreneurship in schools produces results. Students who have completed the company program have a 50 percent higher establishment rate than others in the same age group; 33 percent of students have management responsibility today, compared to 25 percent among others in the same age group; and 46 percent of the former students want to become self-employed, compared to 39 percent among others in the same age group.

And now back to DryPal. The enthusiastic founders want to take the project one step further and start a real business! Their product will be produced by a professional manufacturer in Norway in order to ensure the best quality on the product and to further enable the startup to oversee the manufacturing process. The first batch has been manufactured. Now it is up to the market!

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 11, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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Rasmus Falck

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo.