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Workshop Inspires Unemployed with Big Ideas

Published: 30th June 2010 22:43

 L-R back row, clockwise, Roger Cawte of InBiz, Dan Angell-
Collins of Business Link, Iain Morgan of Bladez Toyz, Seid
Almazumi of Community Systems, Stephen Brownlie of
Portsmouth Technopole, Farida Yousufi of Community Systems,
Linda Taylor and Killian Walsh of Portsmouth City Council and
Rumal Khan of Ethnic Pride

A workshop open day in Buckland has been providing unemployed residents with business start-up inspiration.

The Big Idea event, backed by Portsmouth Technopole and held on Wednesday 30th June at Buckland Community Centre was the first of its kind in living memory.

It was manned by employment support organisations with the aim of encouraging visitors to bring their ‘big idea' to commercial life.

Portsmouth entrepreneur Iain Morgan, the managing director of remote-controlled toy company Bladez Toyz, which supplies products to high street chains such as Argos, Asda and Halfords, was guest speaker.

He said: "The Big Idea is about sparking a fire inside people so they believe in themselves and their ideas."

Iain, who went to Mayfield School in the city, added: "Too many people look for excuses in life and reasons why they cannot do things rather than why they can.

"Usually the reasons are I cannot do that because of my education, because I don't known about business, because I'm from the ‘wrong area', that's not really me, etc. It is every easy to use excuses in life and look back at what has been or what could have been.

"Today is about taking an initial idea from your head and potentially making it a reality."

One of the organisations with a leading role is the landmark Portsmouth Technopole, owned by the city council and managed by business centres operator Oxford Innovation.

It provides office space and professional facilities for more than 150 people working for 42 diverse businesses and is nearly 90% full.

Stephen Brownlie, the Technopole's centre manager, said: "We had a number of people walk in and tell us they had an idea but were green about how to transform that idea into reality. If only one person is inspired to make a go of it, creating jobs and wealth, it would have all been worthwhile."

Linday Taylor, the city council's employment initiatives manager, said: "Some people may not be able to find a job but have the untapped skills to make one.

"They could transform their ‘light bulb' ideas into business opportunities or social enterprises, helping to generate local employment and inward investment.

"Today's event was the first of its kind in Portsmouth, and it may well be a way forward."

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