Institutional members Gateshead college launched an independent outlet for enterprising students to trial and showcase startup businesses. Having secured £50,000 of funding from Royal Bank of Scotland the college were able to create handPICKED.


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HandPICKED is the first North East College to open a business to help accommodate retail-focused startups established by students - over 100 young entrepreneurs are expected to be involved during the 18 month trial. Twenty-Seven start-ups were created by Gateshead College students in 2013 alone.

HandPICKED aims to ensure people from across the North East can access funds and develop their skills. The college continuously strives to support the creation of an enterprising culture.

The shop (based at Intu MetroCentre, Gateshead) will offer students the chance to develop a wider range of skills, market research, product merchandising and customer service. Local craft-makers and traders from across the region will be able to utilise the shop as an outlet for product sales.

The social enterprise has been building on the activity generated by the college’s Northern Stars enterprise society, which gives students the opportunity to discuss their business ideas with established business mentors,  and sell their products to staff and students within the college.

Judith Doyle, principal and chief executive at Gateshead College said: “We are equipping [students] with the entrepreneurial knowledge and training that will stand them in good stead for a successful career, providing that all important edge that employers look for in an employee. It is part of our wider aim of ensuring that our students are the most highly prized in the jobs market.”

All profits from HandPICKED will be going to the college’s foundation - the Gateshead College Foundation.

Gateshead College are one of our institutional members demonstrating their commit to supporting student-led enterprise activity.

For more information about our members please visit here.

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