Welcome to the third in a new series of weekly insights, delving into the lives and thoughts of college staff working from home.
This week, we hear from Karen Aerts, who is the Group's Enterprise Officer.
As the Grwp's Enterprise officer, I have been busy keeping up with all the students that I normally support with their business ideas and ventures via email and Google Classroom. Within days of the lock down I was being contacted by several more students who were worried about how the lockdown was going to affect their new businesses.
We have now set up weekly Zoom meetings for mutual support, sharing of ideas and networking. Our Young Entrepreneur of the Year from last year Ethan Quinn is helping them with his knowledge of social media to maximise their marketing outreach potential to keep their customers engaged. Katherine Lewis from Big Ideas Wales is on-board with specific topics such as finances available during the current crisis.
This has been such a success that it is developing into an online community of student entrepreneurs, gaining and sharing information and mutual support. It was lovely to watch/hear them all offering ideas to each other!
A major project that all the Enterprise Officers across Wales are working on together in response to the lock down is a 'Start up in Summer' week of online Enterprise workshops with speakers, role models, and Q and A sessions in June. We are having several Zoom meetings a week to get this organised, splitting into smaller task groups. This will be for all HE and FE students across Wales - very exciting!
I believe that in this current situation, entrepreneurs are emerging as the new way forward; to begin new businesses, adapt existing ones, and meet new gaps in the market.