COVID-19 has presented more than a few challenges to us all, none more than within our education system. When COLEG GWENT found they were part of a collaboration which won this years National Enterprise Educator Awards (NEEA), it seemed to hold special significance during those troubled times.

The awards celebrate excellence within enterprise and entrepreneurship education, recognising exceptional commitment to supporting student pre-starts, start-ups and growing ventures. The Entrepreneurship Catalyst category looked for inspirational projects and initiatives that support learners to develop the capabilities they need for an entrepreneurial future.

The Coleg Gwent Enterprise and Entrepreneurship team support and encourage learners with their entrepreneurial ventures, however, COVID-19 posed a new challenge. To overcome these difficulties, the Coleg Gwent team joined forces with the network of Enterprise Champions in all colleges and universities in Wales, to collaborate on creating a week of enterprise and entrepreneurship online talks and events in June’s Summer Start Up Week. Find out more HERE

This innovative online initiative addressed the need to support and enable pre-start and early stage businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic through a virtual boot-camp and start-up community. Coleg Gwent supported this initiative, alongside 23 other colleges and universities in Wales, to help learners to launch their entrepreneurial ideas despite the challenges.  

Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, and the Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams told us…..

“This award is a fitting acknowledgement of the exceptional entrepreneurship education being delivered outside the curriculum. The collaborative effort to deliver this virtual Summer Start up Week 2020, amidst this challenging period, demonstrates your commitment to young people in Wales. Enabling students and graduates to recognise their entrepreneurial potential and help those interested in starting a business, take their ideas forward.”

The online festival of entrepreneurship featured motivational role models; keynote speaker Alannah Spencer – winner of The Apprentice; and evening e-socials. It helped Coleg Gwent and the network of Enterprise Champions to support 500 students throughout Wales with their start-up dreams and ambitions and to get their ideas off the ground. 

Alannah Spencer

You’ll find the course you choose is all about giving you the skills and thinking that makes great entrepreneurs.

  • Over 130 industry specialists (guest speakers) coming into tutorial sessions to raise awareness and inspire students to start their own business
  • Entrepreneurship competitions – including Big Ideas Wales Challenge, Stock Market Challenge, Tafflab Programme (to receive funding and mentorship)
  • Global Enterprise Week showcasing the best in enterprise and entrepreneurship master classes
  • Being part of the Valleys Innovation Project working with real life briefs with a range of businesses and organisations
  • Three tutorial enrichment challenges – Enterprise and Employability, Community and Citizenship
  • Personal enrichment through CG Extra

Zoe Blackler is the Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Leader at Coleg Gwent, she told us…… 

“Working on Summer Start Up Week with my fellow enterprise educators was a fantastic experience, allowing collaboration and innovation to support students with developing their own businesses virtually. It was a great example to demonstrate that despite adversity, connectivity can still create incredible opportunities for learners.” 

Such was the success of the Summer Start Up Week, there are plans for it to become an annual event. Coleg Gwent is now collaborating once again to create an online marketplace this Autumn for learners to test-trade and showcase their products throughout Wales for Global Entrepreneurship Week in November.

There’s still time to join the thousands of people that have gone on to great things after studying with Coleg Gwent. The courses below still have places available – but they’re filling up fast. We’ve looked through the entire programme and no matter what you enjoy, or think you can excel in, Coleg Gwent pretty much has it covered. To find out more and apply online, go here. APPLY

  • Accountancy, Business & Law
  • Agriculture & Animal Care
  • Art & Design, Media, Photography
  • Catering & Hospitality
  • Computing & Digital Technology
  • Construction
  • Engineering & Automotive
  • Hairdressing & Beauty Therapy
  • Health, Care & Early Years
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Music, Drama & Dance
  • Pathway to Degree/University (Access to Higher Education)
  • Science
  • Sport, Travel & Public Services

And to find out more about their community of budding entrepreneurs of the future, just go here. ENTERPRISE

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