Entrepreneurial opportunities in lockdown – creating light at the end of the tunnel!

It’s dark and dreary December at the end of 2020, one of the most dismal years for generations. Nationally and internationally, students have suffered periods of isolation and interrupted teaching. Some experienced the cancellation of exams and perhaps changes to expected transitions. Nevertheless, what 2020 has shown us is that humans do have a remarkable resilience to adapt to circumstances, and our entrepreneurial spirit is strong. ‘Teams’ and ‘Zoom’ are now second nature to us, over one million people have volunteered to help with the crisis , and vaccinations for a virus unheard of only a year ago are currently being administered.
Celebrating our entrepreneurial spirit is what the EntreComp Certificate, being developed by Lancaster Royal Grammar School and 5 other European partners funded by the EU Erasmus+ budget, is all about. The Certificate recognises the achievements of students in 15 different entrepreneurial competencies taken from the EU EntreComp Framework all of which require students to add value to society.
Working in conjunction with Lancaster University and the LRGS Business and Economics Dept, students are encouraged to demonstrate their entrepreneurialism through a wide range of activities; some well-known such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, NCS, CCF or ACF, Young Enterprise and Prince’s Trust and others less so such as setting up their own businesses, joining a local campaign group or participating in a competition such as the FFactor or the Earthshot prize.
What our students are showing us is that even in lockdown and under constrained freedoms, they are still creating value for society in the true spirit of entrepreneurialism. One student is running his own tutoring business as well as leading a Young Enterprise group, another has set up his own Economics website. LRGS will be entering several teams in the annual BASE competition run by ICAEW (a previous team won several awards in this competition in 2018) and in a new competition run by Lancaster University Management School, the 100 Day Entrepreneurship Challenge. Students are also being encouraged to join a local campaign for young people entitled North West Youth for Eden promoting the benefits of the Eden North Project to Morecambe and the surrounding area.
LRGS are participating in a prestigious seminar run by the Centre for the Study of Governance and Society (King’s College, London) in January, considering ‘Public Policy Beyond Markets and States’. We believe that our students are demonstrating that creating value for society should be at the heart of these discussions. There certainly is light being created at the end of the tunnel and we are very excited to move with our young entrepreneurs into 2021.

Louise Wareing (Erasmus+ Coordinator and EntreComp Certificate lead)

[1]   364,000 volunteered for vaccine research (11/12/20), 750,000 signed up to be volunteer responders in March/April 2020

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