TV’s The Apprentice winner Alana Spencer was among the stars and well-known industry names to appear on the first Summer Start-Up Week.
Held virtually due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the programme was led by FE and HE institutions in Wales – including Coleg Cambria – with guidance on a range of topics from self-employment and networking, to marketing, finance, and patenting.
Cambria collaborators Mike Corcoran, Sid Madge, Gareth Jones, Katherine Broadhurst and Limb Art founder Mark Williams also featured during the five-day festival of business ideas.
Rona Griffiths, Deputy Director for Learner Experience and Enterprise at the college, said the positive feedback and engagement was heartening, and a welcome distraction for participants during lockdown.
“The Summer Start-Up Week gave students and graduates the chance to strengthen their business cases and explore how best to make it a commercially viable enterprise – it’s the best event of this kind that I’ve ever taken part in,” said Rona.
“Many of those who tuned in had the basis of a product idea or service but no idea how to take it forward and find out whether it would work, so it was great to share best practice and have experts on hand to share their experience and advice.
“We thank them for taking part and – alongside our partners in further and higher education – are glad to have been able to support people at this challenging time. Everyone at Cambria is looking forward to seeing how these businesses develop.”
Twenty four Cambria students attended the programme; among them was Lucy Quinn, who now plans to pursue her dream of opening a beauty salon after being inspired by the speakers on show.
“It’s been an amazing week, I’ve taken so many things away from it but the main things I’m thankful for are the motivation and the clarity I now have,” said Lucy.
“When I signed up to this I was of the mindset that it might give me something to do if I’m bored, and if I do it I do it, if I don’t I don’t.
“I could not have imagined how much I would get out of it, and without sounding too dramatic I genuinely believe the advice I received will play a crucial part in my business.
“As someone who has never studied Business it’s been invaluable. Thanks to everyone who set this up, how lucky we are to have had this opportunity.”
Meanwhile, lecturer and Enterprise Champion Lynn Williams was celebrating after coming first in Alana Spencer’s bake-off competition with her Alice in Wonderland-themed cake.
Alana, from Aberystwyth, was the 2016 winner of BBC show, wowing Lord Sugar with her sweets and cakes concept, Ridiculously Rich.
The Summer Start-Up Week was driven and launched as a collaboration of 20 the further and higher education institutions in Wales to ensure young people with a business idea had access to valuable enterprise insights, despite the current climate.
For more information, visit www.summerstartup.co.uk