Students Gain Insight into the World of Business and Enterprise

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A full house of students listen attentively to a guest speaker at the GEW

What do businesses marketing iced-coffee, health and fitness, and high fashion all have in common? These were all companies who lead a series of talks which formed part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week event at The Bournemouth & Poole College.

Experts from a variety of business sectors gave inspirational talks on their own entrepreneurial stories, current business success, key factors that helped them to succeed, together with rewards, challenges and pitfalls of starting up a business.

The 5 day event was hosted by Business students at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy. The Academy, based at the college’s Lansdowne campus, Bournemouth, is in its second year after a fantastic debut year, which saw both students and staff gain national recognition.

Jenifer Salahuddin, Director of Entrepreneurship said :" Our aim is to provide our students with the widest range of opportunities when they leave the College; this includes working as an 'intrapreneur' within an organisation and having the potential to start their own business at some point in the future. Regardless of the curriculum area or course that students are on, we want them to be open minded about the range of exciting business opportunities that may lie ahead. We had just over 500 students attend the talks; they were from a wide range of courses such as Hairdressing, Beauty, Accounting, Media, Business, Art and Design, Electrical, Sport, Tourism, Retail and A Level courses. The speakers inspired not only the students but also staff working within the College, including myself!"

Paul Scadding is a lecturer at the Academy and also a director of business consultancy White Giraffe Solutions. He said: “These talks were extremely inspirational for all the students. We heard valuable advice from some award-winning business leaders and speakers.”

Workshops and one-to-one advice sessions were also offered as part of the UK-wide event hosted by Youth Business International, a global network of initiatives which helps young entrepreneurs to start their own business. Barclays Bank also backed the event.

Around 20 guest speakers were invited to speak to the students about the challenges of starting a business and how they can achieve success.

Suzie Cregan, co-founder with her brother Jim Cregan of ‘Jimmy’s Iced Coffee’, based in Christchurch, was impressed by the students she met from the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy.

She said: “It was an excellent opportunity to communicate with young entrepreneurs. What a great group this is. You can soon tell who is going to make a success of themselves.

“We had full and frank discussions about what it takes to succeed in the world of business. Most of these youngsters at The Bournemouth & Poole College seemed to realise that you need to drive your business, no matter how small it is at the outset.”

Jango Alptekin from Jango Health and Fitness, and Mandy Pearce from South Coast Fashion Week were among other representatives of local businesses offering valuable advice to the next generation of Dorset entrepreneurs.

Award-winning motivational speaker Juliet Vorster and the The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy’s own Dan Britton, creator of Financial Fairytales which gives an innovative and fun approach to learning about the principles of money, also addressed the students.

Paul Scadding, said: “Juliet has done some very successful workshops with the students of the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy about self belief and igniting success.

“All the students said how inspired and lifted they felt after the sessions.”