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CASE STUDY: The Youth Enterprise Hub (YEH)

In March 2011 Solar Learning set up a Youth Enterprise Hub in Newcastle. This development in our work emerged as a result of the ongoing engagement and interest with young people in our programme delivery. We received the Business Development Fund grant from Newcastle City Council that enabled us to establish the Youth Enterprise Hub (YEH) at Westmorland Business Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne.

In March 2011 Solar Learning set up a Youth Enterprise Hub in Newcastle. This development in our work emerged as a result of the ongoing engagement and interest with young people in our programme delivery. We received the Business Development Fund grant from Newcastle City Council that enabled us to establish the Youth Enterprise Hub (YEH) at Westmorland Business Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Since establishing the YEH, we have started delivering drop in sessions with young people aged 11 to 25 to support their interest and develop ideas around enterprise and social enterprise. As a result of this we have been able to locate 2 youth led enterprises in the hub, firstly a young Asian woman who’s business is a Henna Art company called Sensations, offering henna makeup for Asian weddings and community events. Secondly a digital media website and design company called Kaptech.

Additionally we worked with a further 5 young people’s businesses including a social media businesses called Infinity Enterprises, an ESOL tutor, ComMedian a film and media social enterprise working with young people on digital media projects and a cleaning business. During the period from January to May, the YEH has been visited by over 100 young people for drop-in sessions. We are currently negotiating with a further 4 social enterprises & enterprises to be based in the hub and we are as a result of this planning an expansion of the YEH space in the next 2 months.

With some of the young people attending the sessions a project to establish a young entrepreneur’s forum and we have been discussing with Newcastle City Council Economic Development and Schools Enterprise Lead how we can develop this as a citywide offer. This process has been supported by having Ashan who got engaged as part of the Urban Games youth steering group to become the Youth Enterprise Hub’s Changemaker.

We have been able with young people dropping into the YEH to help with supporting them to think through their business ideas or in some cases raise the prospect of what enterprise or social enterprise might be. We have engaged young people in sessions around planning, ideas generation and in some specific cases helped young people to start working with their own businesses such as Infinity Enterprises.

Further developments for Solar Learning as a result of establishing the YEH means we’ve entered dialogue with potential partners for delivery of enterprise animation activities as part of the cities Enterprise package. Partners are SES (Sustaining Economic Strategies) and PNE (Project North East).

8th August 2011

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