KCOM helps young entrepreneurs build links across continents

Thursday 16 November 2017

KCOM helps young entrepreneurs build links across continents

Young Hull entrepreneurs helped bridge the distance between East Yorkshire and South Africa when they took part in a cross-continental Google Hangout.

The Hangout was part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2017 which is the world’s largest campaign to promote young start-up businesses.

The Hangout, which involved Hull entrepreneurs video-linking with their counterparts in Cape Town and Johannesburg, was held in KCOM’s Learning Zone where the two groups were able to discuss what business challenges they shared and how they could learn from each other’s experiences.

Event organiser Ross Bennett, chairman of the Hull Youth Enterprise Partnership, said it was a great way to stimulate business links between the two countries.

He said: “These events are a brilliant way of bringing people together. They are a great way of sharing knowledge and learning from people who are not only working in a different country but in a different culture and even a different business eco-system.

“But it also shows people that they have a lot more in common with their counterparts in other countries than they’d think.”

The Hull-South Africa link-up is one of 35,000 events, involving 10m people, taking place across the world during GEW which runs from November 13 to 19. More than a dozen other GEW events are also taking place across Hull during the week including seminars on skills training and a drop-in session for young entrepreneurs.

Ross said: “Our Google Hangouts are now well established and have been really valuable in establishing links between the two countries. Not only do they give people insight into a different way of doing things but they also open up opportunities for young people to do business internationally. It shows them it’s often easier than they think.

“It’s great to be able to hold it here at KCOM because they have the technology that makes it possible to have a live link with South Africa.”

Ross, who also runs the Engaging Education company, added it was rewarding seeing entrepreneurs returning to the Hangouts every year and hearing how their businesses were flourishing as well as creating concrete investment opportunities between the two countries.

Brendon Smurthwaite, KCOM’s community coordinator, said: “This is the fourth time we’ve hosted Global Entrepreneurship Week in our Learning Zone and the event continues to go from strength to strength.

“It’s great to see so many young people here, making contacts, sharing experiences and creating real opportunities to do business with like-minded entrepreneurs in South Africa.”