185 young entrepreneurial students have been assisted by the city’s Inspired in Nottingham programme over the last two years, developing the potential within the region’s business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future. A partnership between The University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, Central College Nottingham and New College Nottingham, the programme was set up in January 2013 with the aim to help budding entrepreneurs progress their business ideas.
This is the first time that the four higher education and further education institutions in Nottingham have teamed up to deliver a programme together. Funded by Nottingham City Council as part of the Generation Y initiative, Inspired in Nottingham matched talented and ambitious entrepreneurs based in the city with experienced business people who provided mentoring, advice, support and encouragement to help them realise their business ambitions.
Cllr Nick McDonald, Porfolio Holder for Jobs and Growth, Nottingham City Council said: “Programmes like Inspired are vital to support the next generation of innovators to develop their ideas and bring them successfully to market. If we can help some of these young people to benefit from the knowledge and skills of a mentor, then we can ensure that Nottingham remains a highly entrepreneurial location.”
David Park, Director of Newzpark Ltd worked on the programme as a mentor with University of Nottingham graduate Olu Amodeni to advise him about his restaurant business. David said this about running your own business: “It’s very easy to get sucked into the operational details of business. Part of you has to step back and get a strategic person to help look at the business from the outside. It can be hard to get someone coming in and questioning what you’re doing but learning to listen to their slightly different perspective is a valuable skill to develop.”
Olu Amodeni (Item Seven), mentored by David Parks (MD, NewzPark Ltd)
Kirsty Fox received mentoring through the Inspired in Nottingham programme as a member of The Hive, Nottingham Trent University’s centre for entrepreneurship and enterprise. Kirsty set up social enterprise, Bees Make Honey, in 2012. Bees Make Honey is a community offering support for people entering and working in the creative industries. Kirsty joined the Inspired programme to work with a mentor and hopefully gain more experience in hosting events. Kirsty was partnered with Kathy McArdle, Chief Executive Officer of Nottingham’s Creative Quarter and with Kathy’s support, gained experience of project managing large scale events.
Kirsty Fox (Bees Make Honey), mentored by Kathy McArdle (CEO, Creative Quarter)
Dawn Whitemore, NCN Principal and Chief Executive, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our students have been involved in such a fantastic initiative. Here at NCN, we pride ourselves on preparing young people for life beyond college, whether that be in the workplace or as their own boss.”
Steve Upcraft, Lead on SME Engagement at The University of Nottingham said: “It’s been rewarding to be involved with Inspired in Nottingham and see what talented young entrepreneurs we have here in the city. The work of all those involved in the last two years should benefit not only those starting out in their business careers but also those they will employ in the future. Additionally, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that many existing businesses have given their time freely to encourage the next generation of businesses leaders to get on and realise their dreams.”
Central College Entrepreneurs and Mentors