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23 October 2012

Cardiff and Vale College helps to StartUp Britain

Cardiff and Vale College has hosted a special event aimed at encouraging young people to think about starting up their own businesses.

A busload of entrepreneurs came to the College to offer students help and advice about how to make the most of their entrepreneurial skills. The StartUp Britain bus is visiting 40 colleges and universities across the UK, but Cardiff and Vale College was the only institution it stopped at in Wales.

Once aboard the bus, CAVC learners were able to meet local entrepreneurs and business advisers, take part in competitions, brainstorm ideas and claim a free website domain name. The StartUp Britain campaign is designed to kickstart the economy by showing young people how to celebrate, inspire and accelerate enterprise.

Samantha Head runs comparetheDCA.com, an advice service for businesses where they can access information about reputable debt collection agency from her home. Speaking to students from the bus, she said it was vital that young people thought about setting up on their own rather than thinking about going straight into employment.

“I’m taking part in StartUp Britain to get my message across and to build the confidence of students who are thinking of starting their own businesses,” Samantha explained. “It’s about giving information to people – there is a lot of help and support out there for people wishing to set up on their own and that is the message that StartUp Britain is getting out there.”

Elio Assuncao, CEO of software and social media company YODspica Ltd, agreed. “It is very important that young people know about all the options available to them,” he said.

“Even if they are not thinking about setting up their own business now, in the future they might and then the information we give them today will help them – it’s all about creating the right mindset.”

One Cardiff and Vale College student who is thinking about setting up his own business is 17-year-old Carter Collict from Penarth. The IT student’s brother works as a sound editor on programmes such as Sherlock and Carter would like to set up his own editing business when he leaves college.

“Editing is something that I’ve always been interested in,” Carter said. “Events like this are really helpful for people who are stuck in life – this will give them ideas on how to get through it and show them they are not on their own. It is also really helpful in the current financial climate that students are given advice on how to set up their own business."

Lee Sharma, CAVC Head of Entrepreneurship, added: “We are committed to becoming an entrepreneurial college with our learners being prepared for whatever challenges they may face. Events like this show that in these tough economic times our students can create their own jobs rather having to find one.”  

The StartUp Britain tour was organised by the Gazelle Group. A network that aims to share best practices and expertise on entrepreneurship between successful businesspeople and the higher and further education sectors, Cardiff and Vale College became the only Welsh college to be invited to join the group in the summer.