Inspiring the next generation of self-employed
6 December 2014 - Impact Hub
On Wednesday Dec 3rd, Impact Hub Islington held “Be Your Own Boss”, an event that explored the potential of self-employment as a pathway to enterprise for underemployed and long-term unemployed people in North Westminster. The event was held in partnership with IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals & Self Employed) and Westminster City Council.


Below is an excerpt from IPSE’s blog…

Education around self-employment is a hot topic right now in government right now. Providing education and insight around self-employment and enterprise into schools and communities is more important than ever writes Ben Wright, Press Officer at IPSE.
With record numbers of young people creating businesses or going it alone as a freelance, it is crucial that support, mentoring and advice is given to the UK’s students to enable them to succeed as the next generation of self-employed workers.
IPSE has made demands in its manifesto that education and careers advice around self-employment and enterprise be made more prominent in schools, colleges and universities. To work towards this, we’ve teamed up with the inspiring individuals of our 15 for 2015 competition – a competition launched in the summer to find the UK’s best and brightest freelancers – to hold talks in schools and universities to speak to students about the opportunities entrepreneurialism and enterprise offer.
For the first event of the scheme we headed to Honley High School in Huddersfield with Sam Forrest. Sam’s business, an online platform called Uni Media Mash which enables the trading and selling of university books, has gone from strength to strength. Uni Media Mash is currently hosted by three universities and Sam is currently in talks to roll out the platform with other universities.
As a second year university student on Huddersfield University’s Enterprise Development course, Sam is perfectly placed to connect with students and share his secrets to success.
Sam gave an inspiring, educational and motivational talk to a packed room. Covering everything from starting out to the essential skills required in running a business, Sam’s talk was met with interest and prompted questions from the audience. Describing his own entrepreneurial journey, from humble beginnings selling vinyl records and iPods to his current business, Sam inspired the crowd while also outlining a range of funding options and support schemes that would help the students on their own enterprising paths.
Sam’s concluding message – a response when questioned what his one final piece of advice would be – was ‘to start now’. Whatever your skills, whatever your capital and whatever the business idea, Sam encouraged the students to get things off the ground sooner rather than later.
Elsewhere – Westminster, London to be precise – enterprising 15 for 2015 finalist, brand strategist and blogger Greg Dillon, owner of GD Inspires held a speech to residents of the borough about the joys and struggles of being your own boss, in an event organised by Impact Hub Westminster. With tons of experience as a freelancer and a huge knowledge and network base within self-employment, Greg’s words of advice and were eagerly lapped up by the audience.
Hearing stories and advice from self-employed people is a genuinely stimulating method of education around enterprise for young people. Starting with planned talks throughout the UK in the coming months, IPSE will be pushing for enterprise to feature much more prominently in schools, colleges and universities.
Thanks to everyone who participated in Be Your Own Boss!