For the second year in a row, we’re delighted to support the StartUp Britain Student Bus Tour designed to inspire and support young people who are interested in starting their own business. Dell itself started out as a bright idea in a college dorm room, so entrepreneurial spirit is part of our DNA – as is encouraging others to go out there and make their own dream venture a reality.
As part of the bus tour, mentors, experienced business owners and the StartUp Britain team are visiting 40 colleges and universities around the UK, reaching out to approximately 10,000 enterprising students.
The customised bus – complete with Dell laptops, Wifi, comfy sofas and areas for 1:1 discussions – provides a unique and inviting environment for 15-30 year olds to learn about everything from business plan development and obtaining finance to regulation, company registration and marketing.
The tour began in London last month and the bus is now halfway along its route. The team has already already engaged with over 5,000 students across the South East, Wales, London, the South West and East Anglia.
We went along to one of the first stops, Lewisham College, where over 150 eager students came along to hear presentations and seek guidance from Emma Jones, co-founder of StartUp Britain, and a range of interesting guest speakers.
Lord Young, Enterprise Advisor to the Prime Minister, entertained and inspired, pointing out that prospective business owners now “need less money to start a business than ever before” as advances in technology and the internet mean businesses no longer need office premises to be taken seriously.
Celia Norowzian, co-founder of Beach Break Live, the UK’s student music festival, also shared her experiences of starting the business aged just 20. Celia gave the audience invaluable insights into the highs and lows of entrepreneurship: from the social life sacrifices that she’s had to make, to appearing on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den with her like-minded partner only to turn down an offer in favour of them going it alone.
Questions from the eager audience ranged from “What was most important when setting up your business – was it PR, sponsorship or marketing?” and “How do I register my company?” to “What if the start-up loans I am offered aren’t big enough?”
After the presentations, the bus was packed with students seeking additional 1:1 advice from the team of experts and specialists, indicating that for many, stepping onto the bus is just the start of an exciting journey into enterprise.
Check out what some of the students and guest speakers think about the tour below.
Get on the bus! Check out where the bus is stopping here.