Ipswich: Eastern Enterprise Hub showcase for Suffolk One business students

THE Eastern Enterprise Hub in Ipswich has hosted a presentation event allowing a group of students to showcase their business ideas.

The young people, aged from 16 to 19, have been studying business enterprise at the Suffolk One college since last September, on a course connected with an “enterprise academy” involving a partnership between Suffolk One and the Eastern Enterprise Hub.

All the learners have either already set up, or are in the process of setting up, their own business.

Tom Bloor and Tom Chinery have created their own web design business for small to medium enterprises; James Race is offering garden services to the elderly; Charlotte Adams and Lauren Keyland have opened a jewellery sales operation that specialises in hosting jewellery parties; and Cristal Heath has created a website, careers and information service for young people who are considering their futures.

Christopher D’Almeida has created a tutoring organisation that helps youngsters gain extra help in maths and science subjects; Shakir Hossain is about to launch a magazine for students in Suffolk; Katie Jones sells care products for the elderly, including reconditioned chair lifts; Tom Smith and Michael Balham are in the process of selling their own separate clothing ranges via two companies called Swiss Fox and Velvet Monster; and Alex Wall has an on-line wholesale business specialising in Apple products.

On finishing the course later this year, most will be continuing to expand their businesses alongside further study, but some are going to commit to their business ideas full time, supplementing their incomes with part-time jobs.

Mark Savage, who has been in charge of the project at Suffolk One, said, “This event was the culmination of all the hard work achieved by this group.

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“Now the hard work starts but if they all show the same determination to succeed and continue to grow in confidence (as they have done throughout this process), I feel there is every chance that they can all go on and become the next business leaders of tomorrow. That has to be good news not just for the local, but also the national economy.”

The Eastern Enterprise Hub has been supporting Suffolk One and the students since this course was set up. It has offered advice and support throughout the course and has put Suffolk One students in touch with potential investors and mentors to help them progress their ideas. Suffolk Chamber of Commerce also supported this project.

Kim Brown, business enterprise manager at the hub, said: “This event was a real celebration of everything the students have achieved in the last few months and it was a fantastic opportunity to showcase their businesses to family, friends and all the members of the business community, who have worked so hard by sharing their knowledge and experience to mentor these exceptional young people.”