A Team Enterprise Day targeting year 12 pupils across the region attracted an unprecedented turn out at Northumbria University Business School.

The aim of the day was to introduce college students and 6th formers who are considering their futures to think about starting their own business.

Over 50 students from seven North East schools met with undergraduates and course leaders on the Entrepreneurial Business Management (EBM) programme at Newcastle Business School to put their entrepreneurial skills to the test.

The session, the first of its kind, was an interactive day based on practical group exercises and gave attendees the opportunity to hear first-hand from EBM students who have turned their business dreams into a reality as part of their studies.

The course focuses on independent, real world learning, with students working together in teams to launch their own businesses and learn from their successes and mistakes. Commercial ideas are developed as a central aspect of the course and students are encouraged to explore how to manage and grow their businesses independently.

Lucy Hatt, senior lecturer and programme leader for the Entrepreneurial Business Management programme at Newcastle Business School, initiated the idea, she said: “It’s crucial that young people considering their options are aware that in addition to more traditional degree programmes at Northumbria, they also have access to innovative courses like EBM, which enable them to get a degree by running their own company, making money and learning-by-doing in a practical hands-on way.

“We were extremely impressed with the levels of creativity, integration and participation by all the students. Based on the feedback we’ve received from schools and pupils who took part, the Team Enterprise Day was a resounding success and we are now making plans to run it annually, reaching out to more schools and colleges  every time.”

The EBM course at Northumbria University is ideal for students who are keen to start and run their own business. The programme is based on a Finnish model of education, called Team Academy, and Northumbria was one of the first two universities to pioneer this approach in the UK.

Team Enterprise Day attendees heard from several EBM students describing their personal entrepreneurship journeys. They included Dawson’s Delights, a bakery and events company owned and run by Megan Dawson and Art for the Brain, an organisation set up by Alex Brown, which harnesses the power of art to help individuals living with dementia.

Describing the benefits of the taster day for his pupils, Paddy Drought, sixth form student progress leader at Astley Community High School in Seaton Delaval, said: “It was an enjoyable and fun day. The interaction between the students and staff was particularly beneficial as it demystified university life and made studying at Northumbria seem more achievable and manageable to some of our more nervous students.  I have chatted with a number of my students and their feedback about the day was universally positive.”

Participating pupils came from schools that included Newcastle High School for Girls, Gosforth Academy, Astley High School, Whitley Bay High School, Dame Allan’s and Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy.

The EBM course is part of Northumbria’s award-winning Newcastle Business School; recognised as Business School of the Year in 2015 and more recently, the first North East Business School to win the Small Business Charter for services to SMEs. Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University is globally recognised for delivering some of the best business management education in the UK.

To find out more about available courses, including the EBM course, go to: www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria.