A new generation of business tycoons may find inspiration in a competition designed by a young partnership that is tapping into Business Gateway and Enterprise North East Trust for advice and support.
A visit from Robert Gordon University to his school encouraged Robert Totok to attend RGU’s Aberdeen Business School from where he graduated with an Honours Degree in Management with Finance last year.
The challenging job market motivated Robert to set up in business for himself but even as a young school boy he had an eye on becoming an entrepreneur. It was always his goal to learn how to set up and run his own business and with advice and support from Business Gateway Aberdeen City and Shire he has succeeded.
Robert and his business partner, Csilla Ballint, set up B&T Corporate Team Building in February this year with a few ready-made clients to attend their team development workshops. But not content with running their own company they’re showing true entrepreneurial leadership as they aim to inspire business minded young people in secondary schools across Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“Csilla and I took part in team based competitions at University which we feel gave us the skills, capabilities and courage to start up our own business and we’re keen to pass on our experience to young school leavers. We’ve designed a competition for fifth and sixth year pupils that offers them an opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship by creating and running their own virtual business,” said Robert.
Virtual Firms – Business Challenge will encourage pupils to use their creativity and entrepreneurship to develop business ideas, collaborate with other teams, negotiate virtual contracts and make transactions. The focus is on developing confident individuals and successful learners, while improving and developing communication skills, team work, time management, negotiation and creative thinking.
Csilla and Robert have also both had the benefit of being stretched outwith their comfort zone this year when they took part in the Enterprise Challenge Weekend 2013, which aside from getting them often very wet, cold and muddy, taught them an array of business skills such as presenting, team working, thinking outside of the box, leadership and working within deadlines.
Csilla Ballint, currently studying Management with Marketing with two years to go, said:
"The Enterprise Challenge Weekend was a great experience and brilliant opportunity to meet other young entrepreneurs, to share ideas and to get inspired. The variety of indoor and outdoor activities, combined with the excitement of working together with people from different cities and cultures made the challenge weekend a unique experience. We have tested our limits while having fun and we supported our team mates during challenging tasks. We made great friends; friends who inspire others with their courage and motivation to do what they like. We still stay in contact, support each other and remember with a big smile on our faces the challenges we went through together. The great team from the Enterprise North East Trust was also always with us, guiding and offering valuable support and feedback. We could not have asked for anything better. Thank you!"
“I strongly believe that the competitions and challenges I’ve faced at RGU also have helped me acquire a better understanding of individual roles within a competitive team. Those challenges gave me an opportunity to develop as a person and I would certainly recommend similar activities to anyone as a valuable learning process.”
Developing the challenge, which starts in October this year, has involved setting up a separate business in order run the competition, Robert and Csilla are in the process of registering YouthLab, a new community interest enterprise for the North East of Scotland.
“Business Gateway were there to help when we were setting up B&T and they are still with us as we work through this new venture. We’ve had a lot of support and advice from our Adviser, which is on-going, and I’ve recommended Business Gateway to a number of people including one friend who has just recently launched his own IT firm,” added Robert.
Liz Pirrie, Business Adviser, Business Gateway, said: “Robert and Csilla are very motivated and have covered a lot of ground in a short space of time. They both attended the majority of our business workshops which have given them a good grounding in setting up on their own. The Virtual Firms – Business Challenge is as much as test for them as it’s involved creating a new enterprise to organise it but Business Gateway are supporting them with this latest initiative and we look forward to a new generation of business minded young people following this competition.”
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