All aboard for an enterprising new future

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A double-decker bus carrying entrepreneurs, business experts and authors is coming to Oxford & Cherwell Valley College (OCVC) to help mobilise students’ enterprise potential.

Enterprise is at the heart of our approach and we support our students to develop entrepreneurial skills that will boost their chances of career success

The bus, organised by national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain, will give students support and advice on funding to help them start their own businesses.

Entrepreneurs joining the bus at OCVC’s campus at Oxpens Road on Friday, October 19 include James Eder, founder of, and co-founder of StartUp Britain Emma Jones.

The visit to OCVC is part of a UK bus tour, sponsored by the Gazelle Colleges Group, which will take in 40 universities and further education colleges reaching up to 10,000 young people across the UK. The Gazelle Colleges Group, of which OCVC is a member, is a network of 19 colleges committed to fostering entrepreneurialism in the Further Education sector.

The bus will deliver information about the £82m StartUp Loans scheme for people aged 18 to 24, announced earlier this year. There will be an opportunity to apply for the loan on board the bus and everyone will receive a free StartUp Loans Kit with a guide on how to start a business and over £200 of StartUp offers.

Sally Dicketts, Principal of OCVC said: “Enterprise is at the heart of our approach and we support our students to develop entrepreneurial skills that will boost their chances of career success. We do this by supporting new student business ideas, both through funding and through a business incubation programme offering longer-term support such as office space and access to a panel of expert mentors.

“In a tough marketplace we believe this helps to give our students the edge. We look forward to the arrival of the StartUp Britain bus and hope that it will inspire even more of our students to develop new business enterprises.”

Students visiting the bus will be able to find out more about business incubation opportunities by talking to representatives from SweetFE, a community interest company set up by OCVC to promote enterprise.

Fintan Donohue, CEO of Gazelle and CEO of North Hertfordshire College added: “The Gazelle Colleges Group is delighted to have partnered with StartUp Britain for this autumn's bus tour. Gazelle believes that it is vital to foster a new generation of social and commercial entrepreneurs who can bring innovation to existing business and create their own employment with confidence and ambition, and FE colleges play an integral role in achieving this goal. The StartUp Britain bus tour will be visiting 17 Gazelle Colleges across the country and the entrepreneurs and business experts boarding the bus will offer our students valuable advice and inspire this entrepreneurial mind set.”

A recent report from the RSA charity in partnership with the National Centre for Social Research has found that the ‘millennial generation’ has an “unprecedented entrepreneurial spirit” with almost one-third of those aged 20 to 29-years-old wanting to start their own business.* According to separate analysis commissioned by Royal Bank of Scotland Group from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the percentage of this age group who are in the process of setting up their own companies has risen by 50% in the last year alone.**

StartUp Britain co-founder Emma Jones said: “We are seeing more and more young people setting up businesses. Research has shown eight out of ten young people think about setting up a business these days as a career path, or a way to turn a hobby into a money-spinning idea.
“Reports suggest this boom in entrepreneurialism is down to the ‘millennial generation’ grasping both the power of modern technology and the internet. These young people represent part of the future of business and our economic prosperity - that’s why it’s so important to offer them support by delivering the message that they can set up a business, there is support out there for them – and that we’ll be with them every step of the way, cheering loudly!”

The tour is sponsored by the Gazelle Colleges Group and .CO Internet, the company behind the fast-growing .CO domain.

Juan Diego Calle, founder & CEO of .CO said: “We're excited to be a sponsor of the Startup Britain bus tour and to help inspire the next generation of great entrepreneurs in the UK to build their dreams online."

The start-up campaign is backed by top firms, including Dell, Intel, Intuit, AXA, PayPal and Magento Go, who will all be represented on board the bus.

Go to to find out more and view the OCVC visit to register your interest.

The bus will be visiting the Oxpens Road Campus, Oxford OX1 1SA, from 2.30pm – 6pm on Friday 19 October.

*’Generation Enterprise – The hope for a brighter economic future’, RSA Action and Research Centre, September 2012.

**’Closing the Generational Start-Up Gap’, produced for RBS by Aston University, 10 September 2012.

About StartUp Britain
The StartUp Britain campaign is backed by Government but operates as a fully private sector supported venture. It was founded by eight individuals and business owners and is sponsored by AXA, Dell, Intel, Intuit, PayPal and Magento Go. Its role is to inspire, accelerate and celebrate entrepreneurship.

About Gazelle
Launched at the Association of Colleges Conference in November 2011, Gazelle has been created by Gazelle Global, a company founded by five college principals with an exclusive focus on building a recognisable cluster of entrepreneurial colleges within the next five years.

Gazelle brings together leaders from the private and public sectors who are committed to deploying entrepreneurship as a strategic driver for change in the education sector. Gazelle intends to harness the exceptional experience and expertise of entrepreneurs who have succeeded in business, are proven creators of wealth and who are willing to bring their experience of growing successful businesses into the heart of the further education sector.

'Gazelles' are dynamic, fast-growth young businesses, making the greatest impact on growth, wealth creation and employment opportunities in Britain today. Gazelle is committed to mirroring these attributes to accelerate the adoption of enterprising attitudes throughout education.

For more details on StartUp Britain contact:

Liz Slee
StartUp Britain
E: liz (at) startupbritain (dot) co
M: +44 (0)7540 060112

For more details on Gazelle contact:
Rosalind Kennedy
Seven Hills
E: rosalind.kennedy (at) sevenhillsgroup (dot) co (dot) uk
T: +44 (0)207 199 6180
M: +44 (0)7752 378038

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