College students Ignite their entrepreneurship with county start-up programme


Continuing education students are set to discover their inner entrepreneur through a brand new program designed to help them become self-employed.

Staffordshire County Council’s Ignite program, offered by the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, provides free advice, workshops, mentoring and support to FE students after 16 years looking to start their own business in Staffordshire.

It will be rolled out this month at Newcastle and Stafford College Group, South Staffordshire College, Burton and South Derbyshire College and Leek and Buxton College.

Economic downturns tend to lead to particularly sharp spikes in young people’s unemployment, and the coronavirus pandemic is no exception. It has already achieved great success in retail and hospitality, which traditionally employ younger people.

Young people are also more likely to go in and out of work and are most affected by slowdowns in hiring. They are also facing increasing competition from people with more work experience and job-specific skills.

Philip White, vice chairman and cabinet member of Staffordshire County Council for Business and Skills, said: “Investing in young people is critical to their wellbeing and long-term employment prospects, and it ultimately benefits our communities.

“Ignite’s Student Startup Program will encourage young people to think about the benefits of starting their own business and give them the foundation to understand how businesses work, from funding to marketing. and to overcome the many challenges they would face.

“Our goal through this program is to work with 4,000 students in the first year, 100 of whom will take on the intensive five-day program and have a goal of 20 business startups.

“This is an ambitious initiative, but we are confident it will make a real difference for the future of participants and encourage more to get involved as we recover from the pandemic.”

Program Coordinator Tom Nadin of the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce said, “The aim of the program is to ensure that in the final year of training young people who are starting or considering starting their own, receive the support they need to make their new business a success .

“The program will help the students to develop entrepreneurial thinking in addition to their existing studies and thus to open up opportunities for independence after completing their training.

“The student start-up program is delivered in a engaging and interactive way and helps young people understand the basics of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship.

“It is delivered through five days of intense workshops at the end of the students’ mainstream college program.”

The program covers business fundamentals (business formation, taxes, VAT, etc.). business planning; Marketing planning; Developing networking and sales skills, as well as corporate finances (basic cash flow projections, personal survival budgets and financing).

These meetings would be held by the Chamber’s experienced business start-up advisors. The sessions are ideally conducted in a college setting, depending on the restrictions in place.

All participants also have access to mentors from various backgrounds, many under 30 years of age, who have started and run their own businesses.

For more information, email [email protected] or call Tom Nadin on 01782 202222.

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