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FSB to make 2016 the “year of student entrepreneurs”

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has launched a unique programme of engagement with young people in colleges and universities who see their future as the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

In the Autumn of 2015 FSB launched ‘FSB Connect’ – an initiative to engage with young first-time entrepreneurs through a team of hand-picked regionally-based ‘FSB Connectors’.

As part of that initiative, an event was held in Rotherham last week at which FSB issued its “Student Challenge 2016”. This is aimed at identifying and supporting members of the student population who perceive their future lying in the exciting world of enterprise.

The FSB has pledged to say ‘yes’ to any group of students that seeks the FSB’s support to explore the potential of starting a business as a career.

Hull businessman and FSB member Ben Wright, proprietor of marketing agency We Are Demon, had earlier been appointed ‘FSB Connector’ for South and East Yorkshire, but has now also been appointed to drive forward the FSB’s engagement with students and to oversee the proactive response to those wishing to launch their business ideas.

FSB ‘connector’ Ben Wright said: “The FSB ‘Student Challenge 2016’ sets out the FSB’s commitment to students within the region’s colleges and universities wishing to pursue a career in entrepreneurship. We want to provide a test-bed for their business ideas and a springboard for fledgling businesses.

“We will undertake to support any project that student groups wish to put forward to enhance and encourage their enterprise skills. For example, following discussions with a group of Hull College students, it has been decided that they will stage a ‘Teenage Market’ in Hull city centre on June 6 – during Hull BizWeek – providing up to 50 stalls to enable students to showcase their business ideas and hone their marketing and selling skills.

“We now want to hear from other colleges and universities within South or East Yorkshire wishing to give students a taste of what it’s like to launch a business and experience the highs and lows of enterprise.

“The FSB will be happy to facilitate business counselling sessions, talks to student groups, enterprise days or ‘Teenage Markets’: the only criterion is that projects must be the brainchild of the students themselves and their tutors. We are aiming to see 50 new businesses launched through this initiative to reinforce the FSB’s commitment to start-up enterprise.”

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John Healey MP, FSB regional chairman Gordon Millward and students of Dearne Valley College at the launch of the FSB ‘Student Challenge 2016’

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