Scriba’s founder Katie recently featured in The Yorkshire Post, to discuss her passion – helping and mentoring young, budding entrepreneurs. Since the age of 14, she’s set time aside to help people – from mentoring other pupils at school, to giving inspirational speeches at educational events and providing one-to-one PR workshops to business start-ups. So, if you missed the article, you can read it in full here…
When you’re constantly trying to find enough hours in your working day, it’s hard to take time out to ‘give something back’. But however clichéd it sounds, I love doing a good deed! Not because I’m looking to receive something in return. Just, because… why not? My particular passion is helping students and young people who aspire to be successful entrepreneurs, to get started on the road to being the next big thing in business. Whether it’s by giving inspirational speeches at educational events or providing practical tips at one-to-one workshops, the idea is to put some fire in their bellies and help them make it happen!
It first started at the tender age of 14, when I took part in an initiative to help pupils with special educational needs at Colne Valley High School, Huddersfield. Some had severe behavioural issues while others were ‘behind’ in their studies for different reasons. As a teenager it was an arduous yet energising programme, and it kick started my love for drawing out talent.
The process progressed into my college years, where I spent time shadowing an educational psychologist. This taught me how to support young people who hadn’t been able to ‘fit in’ at school, perhaps because of a physical disability, or emotional problems caused by childhood trauma. At university the learning curve continued, when I became a student rep and ambassador, speaking up for and supporting students in an even more vocal way.
When I began my career in PR my focus turned to helping clients rather than students, but I soon got the chance to reignite my passion when I started my own company. The Enterprise Team from the University of Huddersfield – who helped me get Scriba off the ground – invited me to take part in an Ask the Expert event. This allowed young entrepreneurs to pick the brains of people with business experience, in what can only be described as a ‘speed dating’ scenario. The event left me in awe of the level of talent I met, and I was hooked.
Since then I’ve delivered more workshops for the university; spoken at an ‘Umph’ business competition for 16-19 year olds; and delivered a keynote speech at a Graduate Entrepreneur ‘boot camp’ this summer. All in all I’ve helped over 300 young people grow in just three months, and I’ll be giving an enterprise lecture to 130 second year university students – more rising stars of the future – in March.
Sometimes I question if I’m the right person to take part in such activities, as my entrepreneurial career is relatively short, and I by no means know everything. But, then again, who does? One of the first young people I helped 15 years ago tracked me down when she was 21 to thank me – she’d become a qualified nurse. There couldn’t be a better reason to continue passing on a love of learning – I wish more people would give it a shot.