Business leaders inspire next generation of entrepreneurs

Business leaders from across Hull and the East Riding led a masterclass for Year 12 Ron Dearing students, helping inspire them to become entrepreneurs of the future.

For Entrepreneurs Only (FEO) is an independent Community Interest Company (CIC) comprising of local entrepreneurs who collectively turn over £3.5bn each year and employ more than 23,000 people.

Representing successful private sector businesses of all sizes, its goal is to boost the local economy, create more ambitious entrepreneurs, lift regional aspirations and inspire the next generation. As well as working with schools and colleges, members voluntarily help start-ups and other businesses to succeed and grow.

More than 170 Ron Dearing UTC students spent the day with FEO members at the University of Hull where they experienced an interactive NxGEN FEO Masterclass on some of the keys to business success, including marketing, money, attitude and people.

The entrepreneurs spoke about their businesses, knowledge and experience before the students produced their own business plans and presented their ideas in groups.

Business people from FEO shared their knowledge with Ron Dearing UTC students.


FEO members listened and provided feedback to guide them down the right path before the students enjoyed a tour of the university campus on Hull’s Cottingham Road.

Sam Caley, Joint Head of Sixth Form at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to see what they could do in the future and covered so many employability skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership, listening and being creative.

“We’re really grateful to FEO and its members for giving up their time to support our students in this way and share their extensive knowledge and expertise. The students were able to ask questions and took so much away from the experience.”

Understanding profit and loss, finances behind starting a business, budgeting, finding and pleasing customers, failure and determination and business relationships were among the key elements of the day.

Mental health and wellbeing expert Sue Altass is Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Inspire-Ignite, which works with young people to encourage personal development, confidence and self-esteem, as well as working with businesses and individuals.

FEO member Sue said working with students from Ron Dearing UTC was a great success.

She said: “I spoke about how connecting emotional intelligence with academic intelligence can create rounded individuals which employers are looking for.

Year 12 students discuss their ideas during the FEO event.


“The students stepped out of their comfort zones and it was great to see them applying practical thinking to come up with some great business ideas.”

April Madden, Events and Administration Coordinator at FEO, said: “Our members take time out of their own businesses to help the next generation. It’s not about convincing them to become business owners, but to show them the opportunity is there if they want it.

“We talked about how leadership, teamwork and attitude equals success and we’re really proud of all the students. They were engaged, interested and enthusiastic all day.”

Year 12 student Claire Williams, 16, was part of a group which began to develop the idea of an app to helps students manage tasks and homework, and also provide reminders to keep them on track.

She said: “I really liked the entrepreneur talks. You don’t necessarily have to be academically smart to become wealthy and we found out some helpful money tips.

“It was a really good experience.”

Fellow Year 12 student Marcus Swaby, 16, said: “It was a great day and it was fun listening to the entrepreneurs giving us advice. They come from such a wide variety of businesses and gave us some great tips which we can take into everyday life, such as confidence and the importance of first impressions.”