Welsh Government
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Academy opens to help entrepreneurs launch their own businesses

A unique new centre in Wales to train young entrepreneurs of the future and help them launch their own companies was officially opened by Business Minister Edwina Hart recently.

The Entrepreneurship Academy Wales is the first centre of its kind in Wales dedicated to enabling young people to start their own businesses.

Based at the Innovation Foundry in Swansea’s Dylan Thomas Centre, the Academy will not only provide students with the theoretical knowledge of running a business but also help them set up their own businesses and trade while studying.

The Academy is open to further education students throughout Wales and offers BTEC3 qualifications in entrepreneurship and enterprise.

The qualifications have been specifically developed  for the Academy and have an emphasis on developing and furthering the aspirations of young entrepreneurs.

Welcoming the launch of the Academy Mrs Hart said:

“Entrepreneurship is key to employability. Developing and retaining skilled individuals with entrepreneurial spirit and the will to succeed is critical for the regional economy and for Wales.

“One in seven of the Welsh workforce is self-employed and this number is increasing. In these difficult economic times it is vital that young people become entrepreneurially aware and active so they can adapt to new challenges and be motivated to succeed in employment or starting their own business. “

The Minister added she was pleased the Academy supported work being undertaken through the Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy (YES) action plan which is helping develop entrepreneurial skills in young people and providing practical experiences.

The Academy aims to bring the boardroom into the classroom and promotes a ‘learning by doing’ philosophy with at least 50% of learning time involving guest speakers, master classes, company visits, work placements and workshops.

Gower College Swansea is launching the Academy in partnership with the South West Wales Regional Learning Partnership and with support from Welsh Government, partners from FE and HE institutions in Wales, and Welsh local authorities.

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