RYE Connect has had a busy few months visiting schools and colleges across Northern Ireland to deliver RYE Connect Pre-Start Workshops.
Schools and colleges eager to get involved included Omagh High School, Limavady High School, St Mary's Limavady, St Comhghalls College Lisnaskea, Dean Maguirc College Carrickmore and South West College.
The workshops began by addressing the perceived barriers the young people had about starting a business in Northern Ireland today. Everything from money, age, location and lack of support was discussed, debated and a resolution found. Students were then encouraged to take part in fun entrepreneurial thinking activities, brand identity exercises and also explore the skills required to become an entrepreneur.
Using real time case studies from Northern Ireland the young people were shown that it can and has been done by students just like them. The students then got the opportunity to develop a business idea based on their own skills, qualities, hobbies and interests.
On completing the workshops every student had identified an opportunity to form a business around something they were passionate about and had developed the skills to document their idea on the RYE Business Drawing Board. The business ideas generated were innovative and crossed many sectors. Ideas included gaming, specialist food products, sports equipment, pet grooming, music apps and many, many more.
The enthused participants then received a master class on how best to pitch their business idea to potential investors should the opportunity ever arise. The RYE Connect workshop finale saw every student pitch their idea to their peers followed by constructive feedback on how they could tweak, develop and expand their business idea pitch in the future.
Gabriel Keown, Lecturer at SWC Enniskillen said:
"Setting up a business is a great employment opportunity for many people who have the talent, however they often lack the confidence to progress the idea. This is the second year the RYE programme has been delivered within the college and I've found the programme to be exceptional, the students get to explore options, identify goals and are supported in reaching their potential."