Students from JCSC get enterprising with Reaction

Posted on 18th August 2011 | in Community , Education

Reaction recently hosted a three day workshop at Fourways 2 in Amble for students interested in enterprise and entrepreneurship.

The workshop aimed to provide local young people with better business  knowledge and enable them to learn about idea generation.  Students  from  James  Calvert  Spence  College  were  clearly  eager to  learn,  giving  up  three days of their  own  time from their school holidays.

The event was led  by Jane  Nolan,  entrepreneur  in  residence  at  Newcastle  University, as well as Angie McLean from Fast Forward Now, covering  a  number of  aspects  integral  to  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 of the three day course.  And  according  to  Jane,  some  of  the  business  ideas  the  students  came  up  with  ‘‘clearly  had  potential’’.

She 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  proposed  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.

16 year  old  Glen, from Amble, who  pitched  an  idea  centred round a  new  aquarium  and  water  sports  centre,  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  and the students have been  a  credit  to  themselves,  and  the  school.’’

Reaction  is  a  community  interest  company,  promoting  and  facilitating  entrepreneurship  throughout  Northumberland,  and  Sheila Cook, Enterprise Manager,  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.’’

‘‘Workshops  like  this  show  that  everyone  has the  capacity  to  be  enterprising – they just need to be given the opportunity to develop their potential.”

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