PRESS RELEASE - An open letter to young people – GCSE results day

Notes to editors

Sam Squire and Alex Hughes of Inspire 2 Ignite CIC (the home of the Curious Entrepreneurs) are available for expert comment, radio and TV interviews, case studies and Q&As on and around GCSE results day Thursday 24th August 2023. Please direct enquiries to Lynnette Ellison (Marketing Manager) lynnette@shiftmomentum.co.uk.

Please find links to images;

  • The team at ‘Curious Corner’ here
  • Curious Entrepreneurs from Olive Academy on the ‘Curious About Ice Cream’ programme here
  • Founder Alex Hughes (right) and Lead Ignition Coach & Future CEO Sam Squire (left) here

Overview

  • Alex Hughes – Project fire-starter, problem-solver, and highly motivated agent for change’ 
  • Sam Squire – ‘Ignition Coach, Curious Questioner, and Midfielder linking young people with their purpose’
  • Together, they’re empowering young people to build sustainable and equitable communities, while bridging the gap between unactivated young talent and businesses that care.

Meet Alex Hughes, 34, and Sam Squire, 23, from St Neots, Cambridgeshire UK. Together, Alex and Sam steer Inspire 2 Ignite CIC, home of the Curious Entrepreneurs, to engage, inspire and activate young people who are NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) through entrepreneurial events and experiences. 

Alex Hughes

Faced with adversity, let down by school, and left to his own devices with ‘the wrong crowd’ founder Alex, understands what it’s like to feel abandoned as a young person. Becoming a dad at 14 forced him to make a decision; taking on the challenge of turning his life around or not having anything to do with his son. Motivated by his desire to be present for his son, Alex threw himself into the world of work. He went from job to job surrounded by adults accustomed to the working world, before landing himself an apprenticeship. Learning from his senior role models, Alex was promoted again. At the peak of his career, Alex decided to jump into the world of entrepreneurship and built and managed several businesses that focus on the power of clusters of entrepreneurs in economic and social development.

Alex is a true believer in social entrepreneurship as the ultimate form of creativity. Now 34, Alex is the founder of Inspire 2 Ignite CIC, which gives young people in unusual or challenging situations the chance to be their best, take back control of their lives, and create a future of endless possibilities. 

Sam Squire

Lead Ignition Coach, Sam, is the future CEO of Inspire 2 Ignite CIC. Finding himself NEET after the abrupt end of his 11 year professional football career, Sam relates to other young people who need direction, motivation, and inspiration. He’s been there and come out the other side of his dreams coming crashing down. Faced with starting over, Sam became a Certified Life Coach through a bursary at the University of Cambridge. Working for the Community Trust, Sam found his passion for working with young people and helped over 1,000 disadvantaged young people in Cambridge. In his role at Inspire 2 Ignite, Sam asks the Curious Entrepreneurs powerful questions to help broaden their self-awareness and build their self-belief, so they become the best humans they can. Sam helps 16-24 year olds turn their lives around, through coaching, entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial events and experiences. He’s also a super star DJ, running the biggest growing series of house events in the region through his ‘side-hustle’ VIBRANCY.

Inspire 2 Ignite CIC

Ignite 2 Inspire exists to ignite the hearts and minds of under 24s to become activated humans by disrupting the traditional educational system and engaging young people. Passionate about bridging the gap between industry and the next generation of young people, Alex and Sam believe they’re in a unique position to engage with their peers because of their own journeys. As Inspire 2 Ignite, they ask curious and bold questions, bring young people to the table and engage them in decision making, empowering them to thrive at their bespoke Curious Corners – modern day ‘career fairs’.

Alex said: “There are currently 600,000 16-24 year olds not in education or employment in the UK right now. These young people are uninspired because they have no idea what they could be doing or what opportunities are out there. They have no role models, no inspiration, and therefore no drive to succeed. Employers struggle to connect and engage with young people, the next generation of the workforce, because there’s no way to access them and capture their interest. This in turn leads to a disconnect between industry and young talent.”

Ignite 2 Inspire aims to bring partners, industries and individuals on a journey to bring young people to the table and to use entrepreneurial activities as a key to unlocking entrepreneurial characteristics in young people. Through their network, events, and connections, thousands of young people are facing a brighter future, with the number of 16-24 year olds who are Not in Employment, Education or Training decreasing year on year. Businesses learn more about how to engage with, inspire, and activate young people, and, thanks to Ignite 2 Inspire, 100 16-24 year old NEET young people start their own businesses each year.

Specialisms to comment on

  • Importance of bringing young people to the table to answer what they actually need
  • Putting young people in the driving seat of their lives 
  • Bridging the gap between industry and young people
  • Helping companies retain talent 
  • Community groups being ‘stale male and pale’ 
  • Negative impact of creating and using activities which are outdated and aren’t created with young people truly at the heart (or even involved in the creation) 
  • Engaging with under 24s (because we ARE under 24) 
  • How to ask Curious Questions 
  • Coaching industry creates engaging environments for young people to bring out their individual characteristics. 

Open letter

Hey,

Thursday 24th August might feel like just another day, but we know it holds a weight of expectations, excitement, and maybe even a tinge of anxiety. It’s GCSE results day – a moment that’s often made out to be a defining chapter in your journey. But guess what? We’re here to remind you that those letters and numbers on that sheet of paper don’t define you.

Life is full of twists, turns, and unexpected paths. We get it – not everyone’s journey fits neatly into a traditional educational mould. We’ve been there too, navigating the uncharted waters of uncertainty and self-discovery. And you know what? It’s those unique journeys that shape the most remarkable stories.

You see, your worth isn’t confined to an exam paper. Your potential stretches far beyond those grades. We know you possess talents, passions, and dreams that can’t be captured by a simple grade. Some of the brightest minds and most successful visionaries have followed unconventional paths – paths that defied the norms and carved out their unique legacies.

Here’s the truth: You are more than a score. You are a force of nature, a budding entrepreneur, an artist, a creator, a problem-solver, and a future leader. The world is waiting to witness your brilliance, and trust us, it’s a brilliance that can’t be confined to a single piece of paper.

So, if Thursday’s results leave you feeling uncertain or disappointed, remember that you’re not alone. You’re part of a community that thrives on resilience, innovation, and the audacity to defy expectations. Come join us on Saturday 26th Aug from 11 – 5pm at our Next Step event, Brook House, St Neots. Your journey is just beginning, and it’s going to be extraordinary.

GCSE results day is just one chapter ending – your story is still being written.

Sending you unwavering support and endless possibilities,

The Curious Entrepreneurs