Inspiresme Week is a scheme which gives young people valuable insight into the inner workings of startups and small businesses so they can learn entrepreneurial skills on the ground.
Inspiresme Week has been set up by the Workspace Group, the Greater London Authority and Business in the Community (BITC) to allow businesses to reach out and help young people gain experience and confidence in the professional world.
Nick Bright was just one of the Workspace Centre Managers who took part in the scheme. We talked to him and the students about the benefits of entrepreneurialism.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do
I am Centre Manager at Parkhall, a business centre in the West Dulwich area of London. We have over 100 companies here, and this isn’t anything I imagined I'd do when I was young. I did my work experience back in the very early 90s at an architects firm, where I was really just making the tea, and I always remember spending one day coping giant architectural plans using ammonia (days before scanners etc.). It wasn’t fun and really put me off being an architect.
Why do you think InspiresMe Week is so worthwhile?
I think InspiresMe Week is so worthwhile because when I was at school, the idea of having a small businesses wasn’t there, but now there is so much opportunity for young people when they leave education. Hopefully InspiresMe Week will help inspire them to realise there is so much potential out there.
Also by shadowing rather than making tea, they will learn a lot of skills which they can apply in every area. We have been doing viewings, and even if they don’t ever work in property, they can use the skills they learnt in any form of life.
We asked students Meshaiel and Jwayriya about their experience.
What have you learnt so far this week and how will you use these skills in the future?
This week we have learnt a number of skills within Workspace that have allowed us to see how a business operates and how the centre manager deals with day-to-day issues. We have had the opportunity of shadowing Nick, the Centre Manager.
Using SWOT will help us in the future when evaluating any project or enterprise by weighing out the possibilities which could then be used in decision making.
From this we have learnt how important social media sites such as Twitter are for businesses as they help with promoting and connecting small enterprises. We were able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a business using SWOT analysis and also developed our researching skills by doing a number of tasks.
For example using a specific software to write the company newsletter, and researching about the different companies within Workspace on Tweet Deck.
Using SWOT will help us in the future when evaluating any project or enterprise by weighing out the possibilities which could then be used in decision making. Software’s such as TweetDeck, Mailchimp etc. could be used in any business environment, they are easily manageable and consist of extra tools that are beneficial for the organisation.
Which entrepreneur do you most admire?
Richard Branson is known as one of the world’s admirable entrepreneurs who owns more than 400 companies (some specialising in telecommunication and tourism) and is the founder of Virgin. He started with a £300 capital and now has a staggering 5.1 billion dollar net worth, which shows his amazing determination to succeed despite being dyslexic.