The Connect programme starts in September and will be delivered in the college’s new Hub and in partnership with business organisations including Santander, Design BP and Sweda.
The opportunity is open to new start-up companies and anyone in the borough with an idea for a business they would like to pursue, looking for the entrepreneurial skills and knowledge to turn their business plans into viable commercial ventures.
Members joining the programme will benefit from workshops covering a range of topics including generating ideas, marketing, selling and pitching as well as financial and legal advice from experienced industry professionals.
Several former Walsall College students who have recently set up businesses or are budding entrepreneurs have already signed up to the Connect programme . Their businesses range from a landscape gardening firm and virtual reality design service, to a clothing label and a music events management company, while other students are looking for support to get their businesses up and running.
Former Level 3 Business student and founder of Ethical Model Management Company, Dream Street Promotions, Chloe Avon, 20, is one of the entrepreneurs who has already signed up to the programme. She said: “Studying at Walsall College and the support I received from staff helped me to gain the confidence and belief I needed to launch my own business. I now have 10 franchises across the UK plus one in Dubai and one planned in Paris.”
She has also recently set up 'The Red Bag Co', a Birmingham based homeless outreach organisation, which provides much needed essentials to those sleeping rough. Chloe added: “This is a new area of business for me so I’ve joined the programme to learn new things, network with other entrepreneurs to share ideas and make new contacts to help me expand my businesess.”
Walsall College Community Development Officer, Jane De Weijer, said: “This programme will provide an innovative and supportive network for entrepreneurs who are willing to put in the hard work to get their businesses up and running so that they can reap the rewards.
John Adams, Director of Commercial Projects at Walsall College commented: “Being part of a business community such as Connect is increasingly becoming a popular and successful formula for establishing new businesses across the UK, but as our students are showing, there are many innovative ideas being generated right here in Walsall. If harnessed and supported in the right way, these ideas will hopefully lead to thriving companies being established and ultimately the creation of new jobs in our local economy.”
Jane added: “Following the 10-week course, entrepreneurs can continue their membership and remain as part of our business community by taking advantage of the new incubation facilities within The Hub.”
Opening in September, the Business and Sports Hub will also feature a number of fully serviced business incubation units providing resources, space and an environment for start-ups and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Flexible membership options will be available where members can access high speed broadband, on-site business support and mentoring, meeting space and the latest training opportunities.
Do you aspire to become the next Mark Zuckerberg or Karen Brady, or are you sitting on a genius business idea and want to get started?
Published on Jul 15th 2015
For more information or to join the programme, please contact Jane De Weijer, Community Development Officer 01922 688903 or Lee Bate, Business & Sports Hub Manager on 01922 651122.