SERC inspires next generation

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THE South Eastern Regional Colleges’ (SERC) Enterprise and Entrepreneurship programme Travel and Tourism students from the College’s Lisburn Campus had an enterprising start to their academic year.

The enthusiastic group of students took part in an enterprise master class as part of the Young Enterprise Northern Ireland Tourism Industry (YENI).

The event took place at Lisburn Civic Centre and was part of a range of activities in conjunction with Global Enterprise Week.

Students were invited to come together to learn about business and enterprise, exploring one of the region’s key potential growth industries, as well as listening to successful entrepreneurs and motivational speakers, in addition to honing their business skills.

Throughout the day, students had the unique opportunity to plan, design and present their very own tourism event, and then compete for four enterprising awards. The group were split into different teams and were permitted 45 minutes to prepare a feasible case, with accompanying website and marketing plan. On completion, they were then required to present to a team of judges from Lisburn City Council in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel, giving a 30 second pitch.

The Mayor of Lisburn, Alderman William Leathem gave a speech to encourage students and pupils to develop their entrepreneurial skills, while the guest speaker was Big Ted, from Big Ted’s Cookies.

Student Rebecca Willis from Lisburn who attended the master class described how she found it ‘a great experience’ and a ‘thoroughly worthwhile event’.

Rebecca explained her team’s concept: “Our team designed a business plan to increase awareness of the tourism industry among students living in Northern Ireland. The programme was inspired by the success of the 2012 Northern Ireland Tourist Board “Our Time Our Place” campaign.”

Olivia Kennedy SERC Enterprise Manager explained why enterprise programmes are so important for the students.

“Encouraging students to consider entrepreneurial opportunities is an important part of what the College offers. The YENI programme is just one of many entrepreneurial initiatives run by the SERC Enterprise Champion team and is a fantastic opportunity for students to sample what it is like to run their own business.”

SERC’s Director of Corporate and Economic Development, Thompson Keating, said: “There is a great need to provide opportunities today that help our students pursue their dreams and build the businesses of tomorrow.

“After all, enterprise is about having great ideas and knowing how to take them forward.

“It’s about being innovative, understanding risk, making things happen and not missing great opportunities. Our enterprise programmes will kick-start the conversations that are needed to make this happen.”

SERC provides a range of full and part time courses designed to give students’ the edge’ through industry projects and a range of work placements to give them the skills needed to succeed in their chosen career. To find out how SERC can help you ‘get the edge’ call 0845 600 7555, visit or find us on Facebook, search: South Eastern Regional College.