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To mentor or not to mentor, that is the question!



When I was in 6th form 10 years ago I took part in what is known as the "Young Enterprise Scheme". It was an eye opening experience, and gave me an insight into how running a business really worked.......granted to we didn't do exceptionally well in it - I think we made about £200 profit for 1 years work, split between 6 people. All the same, it was fun (we made and sold jewellery), and I learnt things I don't think I would have done in class.

All the memories from my Young Enterprise experience came flooding back when we had a call from the local co-ordinator of Sussex's Young Enterprise scheme, who asked if we thought Sussex students would be interested in being mentors for local school aged groups taking part in the scheme. When I did Young Enterprise we only had 1 business mentor.....she was a very dedicated and helpful woman, but she seemed far too removed from us 17 year olds - she was in her 50s, was very brash, and wore a suit - not exactly the type of person we'd hang around with back then (or now for that matter!). I'm pretty sure that Young Enterprise will have moved things forward a bit since then, and will have business advisors for the kids from a wide background of industries, cultures and attitudes, which is great. I think that the fact that they are giving the groups 2 advisors - 1 "business" advisor (ie someone that has had their own business, charity or social enterprise) and 1 students advisor is a great thing. It will mean the Young Enterprise groups will have a richer pool of advice to bounce ideas from. Having a student that may not be an expert in business, but who is obviously far more mature and experienced in life in general will be a huge asset to them.

Not only will the school kids benefit, though, I also think it would be a massive personal development opportunity for the mentors - not just the student ones, but business the ones too. It will be a big learning opportunity for both parties, as well as being a great opportunity to give something back to the community.

We will be holding an information evening where any student will be able to apply for this opportunity, as well as find out more about what is involved. At the moment we understand that the student mentor must be prepared to give up 1 hour a week to their group to offer support and guidance, during term time.

If you're interested it would be great to see you on Thursday 23rd October, at BSMS foyer (white and glass building next to Sussex House) at 5.30pm. It should last for 1 hour.

To find out more about this, and similar opportunities please go to


Time to get Enter-prizing!



Another year, another chance to be enterprising!

Enterprise Thursdays restart for the 2008-2009 academic year on Thursday 30th October and the line up is looking dazzling!

The speakers I've heard have really helped me look at career possibilities I would never have thought of - that I may never have realised existed before! Starting business, in any shape or form, was something that I thought was for other people - not me in a slightly dodgy Arts/Science degree combo. But I was wrong! I can start a business in anything I choose, and complaints I've made to friends ("Why doesn't something exist that can do this for you?" "why is this system so frustrating?") can be realised in a profit making form.

Enterprise Thursdays an opportunity to be inspired - either by the range of ideas that you would never have conceived in a million years, or to get advice on how to pursue particular ventures you may have in mind... fact, if you DO have an idea you think is the best thing since sliced bread you could win £500! Write your idea for a new business on one of the Enter-prize beer mats in Falmer Bar and East Slope and drop it in a box. It can be anything however small! I'd tell you what mine is but I don't want my multi-million pound idea nicked!

For more info have a look at