A group of students from New College and Greenhead College, Huddersfield, were recently out and about in the Colne Valley learning about environmentally and ethically aware businesses.
The year 1 students -- who are currently studying a variety of A’Levels at the colleges, spent two days brushing up their business skills and learning from real live businesses, before pitching to some local dragons. The first day was spent brushing up on vital business skills such as marketing, product design and ethics, at the University of Huddersfield, and the afternoon visiting two local businesses, the Green Building Company at Bolster Moor and the Green Valley Grocers in Slaithwaite, both highly successful in the crucial emerging field of green technology and locally owned cooperatives.
For the second day, the students got some last minute advice from Business Link Yorkshire, and brushed up on their pitching skills, before splitting into groups in order to work-up a business idea which they then ‘pitched’ to four ‘dragons’.
All students received a prize and there was a winning group, whose business idea impressed the dragons the most.
So what did the students think?? “I learnt a great deal about how to make a ‘green’ business” said Tom and “I benefited from the project greatly, as I was able to learn and put into practice business ideas” Elisabeth.
The competition was organised by the Marsden and Slaithwaite Renaissance Team and was sponsored by Vivid Resourcing and the University of Huddersfield Business School.
The Marsden and Slaithwaite Renaissance group was set up to develop ideas as part of the Renaissance Market Towns initiative which aims to support the development of sustainable small towns in Yorkshire and the Humber.
A key part of the Renaissance Team’s current work is the development of a Green Valley Initiative, which includes a new Environmental Technology Innovation Centre which, it is hoped, will be based in Slaithwaite. The Renaissance Team together with Kirklees Council are currently in the process of securing premises for the Centre.
The Dragon’s Den project drew attention to this very exciting project by giving a group of students a taste of two green businesses currently already working successfully in the Valley and at the same time encouraging them to consider how they might continue to live and work here in the future.