Teenagers get enterprising

Posted on 18th October 2011 | in Business News , Education , James Calvert Spence College - Acklington Rd , James Calvert Spence College - South Avenue

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.’’

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