Enterprise 'gap year' proposed

November 19, 2004

Students should be encouraged to take a "gap year" for enterprise development along the lines of language students spending a year abroad.

The proposal came from Kevin Steele, chief executive of Enterprise Insight, which organised Enterprise Week. He asked if any university was enterprising enough to take it on.

"Enterprise thrives on networks, and universities are hothouses of networking, particularly in halls of residence," he said.

"Rather than seeing setting up a business as something they would do long after leaving university, what about having part of a hall of residence given over to a bunch of people setting up their own businesses?

"During the day, they would be off trying to get the business set up. They would come back and swap notes, commiserate, celebrate, sit in the kitchen drinking tea and talking about what works."

The university would bring in guest entrepreneur speakers and assign each student a supervisor. He said this was not about passing exams but to help young people kick-start enterprising careers.

He said that Enterprise Insight would support any university that took up the challenge, ensuring it received a high profile.

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