Teenagers get enterprising
Reaction, a community interest company promoting and facilitating entrepreneurship, recently hosted a three day workshop at Fourways2 in Amble, for students interested in enterprise and entrepreneurship.
Students from James Calvert Spence College were eager to learn, giving up three days of their school holidays.
The event was led by Jane Nolan, entrepreneur in residence at Newcastle University and Angie McLean from Fast Forward Now, covering a number of aspects of modern business success.
The students’ brief was to develop an original business concept from scratch – identifying a commercially viable idea, carrying out market research, and delivering a mock sales pitch to a group of local entrepreneurs on the final day.
Jane commented, ‘All four student groups pitched an interesting idea.. However one really stood out to me and the local entrepreneurs, as it had both commercial potential and a proposal to put something back into the local community. The basic premise centred on running a ‘youth centre for over 60s’ whereby older citizens could engage in a variety of activities, while interacting with people of a similar age. There is clearly a gap in the market for something like it.’’
In a review session on the final day students were asked what they felt they’d learned during the workshop, and many commented how it had really made them reconsider future opportunities in enterprise.
Sixteen-year old Glen, from Amble, stated ‘‘Until now I’d never really thought about starting my own business because I wouldn’t know where to start. This event has shown me how to go about doing it, and now I’m thinking I might try to start up my own IT consultancy when I finish at school.’’
John Barnes, deputy head teacher at James Calvert Spence College, commented ‘‘the event has been great for the students, teaching them skills they might not ordinarily get the chance to learn. Everyone really enjoyed it’.’
Sheila Cook, Enterprise Manager of Reaction, commented ‘‘I am really pleased with how this workshop has gone. The entrepreneurs who were kind enough to come in for the final day really engaged the students, helping them develop their ideas, and inspiring them to see that although setting up your own business is a daunting task, it is possible.’’