Coleg y Cymoedd is delighted to have been part of a collaborative Summer Start up Week that scooped one of the top awards in the Enterprise Catalyst category at this yearâ€™s National Enterprise Education Awards (NEEA).
The NEEA recognise excellence in enterprise and entrepreneurship education and celebrate exceptional support of learners, pre Start ups, Start ups and growing ventures.
The Enterprise Catalyst category looked for innovative projects and initiatives that support learners and develop the capabilities they need for an entrepreneurial future.
The online Summer Start up Week designed and delivered by a collaboration of 23 universities and colleges across Wales, ticked all the criteria looked for by a panel of 27 expert judges, including current and former EEUK Directors and EEUK Fellows.
As campuses across Wales closed their doors in March due to the Corona virus, the forward thinking Enterprise Champions worked together to plan and deliver a week long online boot camp, that would support Start upâ€™s and over 500 entrepreneurs.
Coleg y Cymoeddâ€™s Enterprise Champion Lesley Cottrell worked with fellow Champions across Wales and witnessed the benefits of sharing ideas to facilitate the Boot Camp activities. Speaking about her involvement Lesley saidâ€ This year has been an extremely challenging time for everyone in the sector, with colleagues having to quickly adapt their teaching via online platforms.
As Enterprise Champions we were keen to support the Enterprise learners during the â€˜lockdownâ€™ period and the Summer Start up Week gave us that focus. As a collaborative we shared ideas and good practice to deliver an innovative programme which included ice breaking activities, webinars with motivational speakers, concluding with evening â€˜socialsâ€™.
Given the success of the collaborative approach we are now planning to make the Summer Show an annual event and are also planning online activities for Global Entrepreneurship Week in November.
We were delighted to receive a letter from Welsh Ministers Ken Skates MS and Kirsty Williams MS congratulating the group for their collaborative work and commitment to develop an entrepreneurial culture in Wales.â€
Cymoedd Care learner Nia was one of those who attended the online activities and was inspired by the speakers. Commenting on the presenters she saidâ€ I found the sessions absolutely brilliant. Since my youngest child was born Iâ€™ve thought about setting up my own business. I studied Care at the college and would love to open my own Nursery. I have made a lot of enquiries but have anxieties, such as â€œWill I fail before I begin, Will I secure the fundingâ€? I was inspired and excited by the â€˜Simply Doâ€™ session which has given me the motivation to pursue my dream of setting up my own business â€“ I feel that I can do it and if I fail, I fail but at least I triedâ€.
Thinking of starting up your own business, but need advice and support? Contact Lesley Cottrell, Enterprise Champion at Coleg y Cymoedd â€“ Lesley.email@example.com
Rhondda Cynon Taff