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News article

Counselling start-up takes the top prize at University’s first Student Enterprise Week

Published: 09 December 2022

  •   Featured
  •   Business
A man delivering a presentation to a room full of students

Brian Littlejohn from City of York Council delivering his session “A Day in the life of a GM”

York St John University’s first ever Student Enterprise Week has given students from across the University the chance to boost their business knowhow with a series of live events, classes and talks from industry professionals. The sessions were run in partnership with the Enterprise Centre at York St John and the University’s Careers service and were open to all students with an interest in starting a business or going freelance.

A range of workshops on offer included sessions on the core elements it takes to launch a business, including setting a direction, planning the route and driving the results. Attendees were also given insider tips on what to charge and how to charge, a daunting task for any start-up or freelancer.

Everyone who attended was invited to pitch their business ideas to try and win a unique Mentoring Package of coaching and support from leading names in marketing, social media and business development. The winning pitch came from Journey to Wellbeing, a team of York St John University counselling graduates who’ve designed a series of mental health workshops. The course will be open to the public and offered for free.

Kit Summers finished her Counselling, Coaching and Mentoring BA this summer and is in the process of establishing the new company along with four of her former course mates.

Kit said: “My team and I are thrilled to have received the opportunity to work with some of the best in the business field. We started this project as a placement when we were students, and to see that it's growing into its own company that can be supported to help members of the public at no cost to them warms our hearts.

“I don't feel as alone as I did when this started, and I feel more like a professional with each passing day. We went into starting Journey to Wellbeing as a company through our passion to deliver psychoeducation and workshops, and to have help on the business side is indescribable. We're all very excited to start the mentoring and are working on pairing members with the appropriate mentor.”

Among the mentors is Frank Duffy who has extensive experience in the business world, from being founder and managing director of Shuropody Ltd and Original Penguin, to being the Group CEO of Dr. Martens.

Frank said: “I have had the opportunities to build and grow both global brands and businesses. I take a lot of pleasure in being able to assist future business leaders in developing both themselves and their propositions.”

Other mentors include business consultant Paula Grizzard, chartered accountant Ian Walker, confidence coach Jules Wyman and Hannah Pitman from Digital Marketing firm Agency51

Hannah said: “We feel privileged and incredibly excited to be a part of this and can’t wait to meet the lucky winner and be able to provide them with a fantastic career-boosting opportunity.  

“I am proud to be associated with the Enterprise Week as I have always been passionate about supporting young people to become more entrepreneurial. That can mean setting up a business or simply becoming more opportunistic about their futures generally.

Enterprise Centre manager Emma Rollason-Taylor said: “I’d like to thank our mentors, contributors and everyone who made Student Enterprise Week such a success. It was great to see so much energy and engagement from our next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Find out more about the Careers service at York St John, including the newly launched Kickstart Programme.

The Enterprise Centre is based at York St John University and is run in conjunction with York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub. Find out more about the Centre and their free support for fledgling business.

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