UK Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Meeting
The “Best Practices in Teaching Entrepreneurship and Creating Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Europe” project held its second international meeting in England this week.
A total of eleven representatives from the four partnering organisations, the Edward de Bono Institute from the University of Malta, Youth Business Poland, Global Entrepreneurship Week Poland Foundation and Peace Child International (PCI) attended the three-day meeting. Representatives visited nine unique British enterprise initiatives.
The first day of the event involved a sit-down meeting at PCI headquarters, where PCI representatives first acquainted partners from Poland and Malta with England’s entrepreneurial environment, educational system and key national initiatives that foster job creation, skill-building and enterprise support for young people.
On the second day of this England meeting, the participants went to Cambridge to visit five initiatives, the Future Business Centre, Social Incubator East, The Cambridge Regional College Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, Cambridge University Judge Business School Centre for Social Innovation and Cambridge HUB.
As educational institutions and incubators that attempt to foster a new generation of entrepreneurs, the Judge Business School Centre for Social Innovation and Peter Jones Enterprise Academy offer diplomas in entrepreneurship/enterprise.
The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy offers young people vocational education (BTEC courses) in enterprise and entrepreneurship and is based in an actual business environment (the Future Business Centre). It applies a ‘learn by doing’ approach with students attending classes, having work placements and setting up their own business.
The Judge Business School Centre for Social Innovation focuses on education and research in social innovation and social ventures. It also collaborates with the Future Business Centre in the Social Incubator East. The Future Business Centre offers business advisors, workspaces, and networking for social enterprises in the area.
We had a unique opportunity to meet NGO, private sector and university representatives who not only do a great work but also eagerly cooperate with one another. I returned to Poland with lots of new ideas to foster entrepreneurship in a more innovative way.
– Justyna Politańska, Founder and CEO of Global Entrepreneurship Week Foundation Poland
Social Incubator East, which is based within the Future Business Centre, incubates social enterprises in the east of England. Our representatives were able to meet some of the Centre’s social entrepreneurs. Cambridge HUB works with students around Cambridge to encourage them to get involved in social enterprise and other activities.
On the final day of this meeting, nine representatives went to London to meet with Enabling Enterprise, Rockstar Mentors, RBS’s Inspiring Enterprise and Citrus Saturday. The partners met with the founders of these initiatives for roundtable discussions and presentations.
The initiatives encourage an entrepreneurial mindset with different groups – from young learners to aspiring entrepreneurs. We were particularly impressed with the focus on ventures with a social vision as opposed to an exclusive preoccupation with making money.
– Shirley Pulis Xerxen, Edward de Bono Institute
Enabling Enterprise focuses on bringing entrepreneurial and employability skills into public schools around the country by training teachers in its unique framework.
Rockstar Mentors connects new entrepreneurs with highly successful business people for expert advice and training. Thanks to subsidies from the British government, Rockstar Mentors is also able to provide free training and mentoring services to young entrepreneurs. It has also just opened a hub for startups that offers a more cost-effective mentoring approach.
In the latter half of the day, partners visited representatives from RBS’s Inspiring Enterprise programme, which offers funding to organisations who educate potential entrepreneurs as part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility. It also offers trainings, workshops and one-to-one sessions to aspiring entrepreneurs.
The last initiative visited was Citrus Saturday, a growing global initiative run through University College London in the UK, which encourages children and young people set up lemonade stands to learn about business. Citrus Saturday provides these kids with the training and tools they need as well as information for potential organisers.