Young Entrepreneurs pitch their way to success at third Next Step event

From floating mobile phone cases to £5 haircuts; IT support for the elderly to an allergy log last Saturday saw local budding entrepreneurs start their path of becoming business owners as local Community Interest Company, Inspire 2 Ignite played host to young people who are NEET (Not in Education Employment or Training), and committed £1,000 to supporting 10 of them to start up and grow their own businesses. 

The Inspire 2 Ignite CIC team are on target to engage 10,000 16-24-year-olds this year through entrepreneurial events and experiences, unlocking their entrepreneurial characteristics. 

Just want to say thank you again for yesterday. It was a great experience, and I can't wait for the future.

An impactful event

The feedback received from young people and their parents was overwhelmingly positive, with one parent expressing their gratitude for the impact the event had on their child’s life;

“I can’t thank you and your team enough. The glint in (my young person’s) eye when we left you today was priceless. She’s been lost for a while and I think this meeting today will not only impact her in work but also personal life. So very grateful to you all – what you do is so very much needed and appreciated beyond words”. 

Previous pitch winners also attended the event to support and share their experience with the new pitchers. 

The expert panel, including Christine Griffey (CEO of Shift Momentum), Scott Kingsbury (Founder of SK Perform), and Alex Hughes (Founder Inspire 2 Ignite CIC & social entrepreneur), provided valuable feedback to each of the Curious Entrepreneurs who pitched their business ideas. The team made sure that all young people left feeling inspired and motivated to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.  

A positive experience

Lead Ignition Coach, Sam Squire, 23, spoke about the life-changing impact that previous Next Step events had on young people;

“Already, I’ve heard great things from this weekend’s pitchers, including how inspired they feel, how much it means to them to be supported and to have us believe in them. It’s our mission to help young people look past a ‘standard’ education and see other options available to them through entrepreneurship and self-development.”  

Supporting, welcoming environment

The Next Step events are a true community effort, and the Inspire 2 Ignite CIC team looks forward to hosting the fourth edition of the event in July 2023. Congratulations to each of the young people who pitched their ideas and received cash to kickstart their business. The Next Step event continues to provide a platform for young people to showcase their ideas, gain valuable feedback, and take the next step towards achieving their entrepreneurial dreams.

In addition to receiving cash to kickstart their businesses the young people who attended, the Next Step event were able to get career advice from Form the Future and had access to free business resources and information about potential start-up funding opportunities from BIPC. 

In the East of England, 13.8% of 16-24 year olds are NEET (Not In Education, Employment or Training). The Next Step event is a quarterly series that provides a supportive and encouraging environment for young people to step outside their comfort zone, build an amazing network, discover opportunities, and level up their lives. The event was well attended by members of the community, who brought along or invited young people in their network to benefit from the support of the expert panel, certified coaches, and extensive entrepreneurial community. 

The Next Step is a perfect place for young people to step out of their comfort zone, build an amazing network and level up their life. I’ve seen first hand the impact the Next Step events have on the young people; helping them to look past a ‘standard’ education and see other options available to them through entrepreneurship and self-development.