We were invited to attend our institutional members Westminster Kingsway’s Enterprise Fair on Wednesday 19th November as part of their activities for Global Entrepreneurship Week. The event was organised by the college’s enterprise society - Vin2. Naomi, our FE Regional Enterprise Coordinator who works with colleges in our network provides her take on the event.
I had the pleasure of sitting on the judging panel of the pitching competition where students were pitching for money to help them get started with their businesses. Having helped with short-listing the final six - the week before - it was great to put a face to each pitch and ask students questions about how they want to take their ideas forward. They all had excellent ideas and pitched them very well! However, we unanimously decided Linda Rippe deserved top prize with Superdog - health conscious hot dogs, each topped with flavours representing different parts of the world. Well done Linda!
The event itself was extremely enjoyable. The talks were punctuated by short fashion shows exhibiting the design work of the fashion students, as well as dance performances by a few of the student dance groups, with some college staff even getting involved in the freestyle section. This, coupled with the catering and hospitality students providing a delicious lunch, really showcased the talent that Westminster Kingsway College has to offer.
This year’s theme of ‘Get Connected’ was well observed throughout the fair, particularly by Maisie-Rose Byrne who is the founder of One Man’s Note. One Man’s Note is an online social impact project aiming to connect strangers and spread kindness through leaving secret notes with motivational messages in public places for others to find. In seven months, she has managed to generate over 8000 followers on Twitter, with that growing every day. Her speech focussed on the importance of people performing random acts of kindness for each other, saying that: “Our currency is kindness, our currency is people.” A great message of connectivity and social impact to enhance the message of entrepreneurship that defined the day.
The talks closed with Mike Southon who is described in the program of the day as “a serially successful entrepreneur, mentor and best-selling business author”. After a brief foray down the catwalk, Mike had some wonderful advice for young entrepreneurs drawn from his own experience about how to get started as an entrepreneur, finding the right mentor and the importance of your first customer. He told students that starting a business is as simple as finding a customer and making a profit and how “That is entrepreneurship, everything else is over complication.” This advice resonated with the students and will hopefully inspire them to pursue their passions through entrepreneurship.
Congratulations to Vin2 for organising such a successful event!