Students receive a masterclass in Entrepreneurship

Students in Years 8 and 9 recently benefited from the knowledge and experience of some of the region’s most successful business leaders during a masterclass in entrepreneurship.

The session was delivered by members of For Entrepreneurs Only (FEO), a Hull-based company made up of local entrepreneurs who collectively turnover around £3bn annually and employ over 19,000 people.

The day-long event provided a unique opportunity for around sixty students to spend quality time with some of the region’s most inspirational business leaders, including representatives from the worlds of finance, healthcare, business management and communication. Listening to first-hand experience, students learned about different aspects of creating a successful business - from having the right attitude and good people skills, through to effective marketing strategies and strong financial management. 

Working in groups, students were tasked to come up with their own unique product or service which they then produced a business plan for. Representatives from FEO were on-hand to deliver expert advice and guidance as the students prepared presentations which they later delivered to the rest of the class.

Presentations were judged on the quality of the overall business idea; marketing considerations; projected finances; the attitude of team members and the use of visual aids. A total of ten teams pitched a high standard of ideas, with the judges having the difficult job of narrowing them down to the top three. 

In third place was the team ‘Back in the Day’, whose business idea was a retro movie and music store which enabled members of the public to hire films and records like in the ‘good old days’ before Netflix and Spotify! The group also planned a recording studio in the back of the premises as a resource to capture up-coming talent.

In second place was ‘Disco House’, a team who, as the name suggests, planned to run a party venue in a house – providing music, lights, food and entertainment for a set fee.

Taking first place was an ingenious idea from team ‘Everyday App’ who designed an app that would check text and social media messages before users sent them, to ensure they never sent anything they may later regret. Team members William Grant, Tyler Rees, Harvey Dearing, Harry Lunn, Esther Tinker and Tia Hodgins were praised for their idea and the high standard of their presentation.

Finally, a special award for the most promising Future Entrepreneur went to Year 8 student Max Buttle. Max was recognised by the business leaders for the effort and hard work he consistently displayed throughout the day. He showed great leadership and confidence - both of which are key attributes in creating a successful entrepreneur.

Chief Executive of FEO Jan Brumby commented: ‘Our masterclass sessions aim to enthuse and encourage young people to think about starting their own businesses.  At any given time, 1 in 10 people think of doing so, but most are afraid to take the next step.

Our classes are designed to give a balanced view of both the good and bad elements of entrepreneurship. We help to equip students with the knowledge, skills and attitude that an entrepreneur needs to succeed. As FEO members all run their own businesses, they know first-hand what it’s like which really helps bring the sessions alive.

Right from the start, the students had a brilliant attitude and were willing to learn. They asked some excellent questions and weren’t afraid of coming up with ideas which led to the creation of some fantastic innovative products and services.

We have run a large number of masterclasses around Hull and the East Riding and what we’ve seen at Withernsea High School are some of the best presentations we’ve encountered. This is all down to the positive attitude of the students.

It was also pleasing to see a competitive nature in the students which is a crucial element for successful entrepreneurship.'

Assistant Headteacher Beci Pinder added: ‘It was with real excitement that we welcomed back members of FEO to Withernsea High School. Following an introductory assembly earlier in the term, we were delighted that so many of our students elected to be involved in what was a well-organised and creative day. It was fantastic to see so many of our young people engaged in activities which will help them develop and enhance their employability skills. Students spoke with enthusiasm about the day and showed a genuine interest in the tasks they were given.’

Event organiser Vicki Foster commented: ‘FEO members offered our students a fantastic insight into the world of business. The students all worked incredibly hard throughout the day and this showed in the quality of work that was presented at the end of the session. As ever, their behaviour was a credit to themselves and their school.’

ABOVE: Members of For Entrepreneurs Only (left to right): Ron Dickinson, Kate Young, Alistair Needler, Steve Trister, Kerry Mountain, James Ash, Graham Pittaway, Sue Altass and Alan Hemingway with FEO Chief Executive Jan Brumby.

ABOVE: Students received expert advice and guidance on their presentations from the FEO team.

ABOVE: A total of ten groups confidently presented their ideas to the rest of the class.

ABOVE: Second place finalists 'Disco House'.

ABOVE: First place winners - 'Everyday App'.

ABOVE: Year 8 student Max Buttle wins the 'Budding Entrepreneur Award' for his fantastic efforts throughout the day.

The Entrepreneurs

We are grateful to the following FEO members who ran the masterclass at Withernsea High School on Wednesday 29th November. Please click on the relevant link to learn more about each business person:

Ron Dickinson

Alan Hemingway

Kate Young

Alistair Needler

Steve Trister 

Kerry Mountain

James Ash

Graham Pittaway

Sue Altass

Jan Brumby 

The goal of FEO is to help build the local economy by creating a private sector renaissance. They help entrepreneurs in Hull and East Yorkshire create wealth and jobs. Through regular events and initiatives, they aim to motivate, educate, inspire and support others. Their members give their time, energy, passion and resources and everyone at FEO works hard to promote Hull and the Humber region as a great place to start up and run a business.

For more information about FEO and its members, please visit their website: