City College Norwich is all set for the official opening of its new Start Up lounge

Students at City College Norwich are gearing up for a new era with the opening of a ground breaking facility for teaching and enterprise tomorrow . The interactive StartUp lounge, which is key part of the college's Gazelle initiative, will take students through a series of stages in a business start-up 'journey', from developing their concept in the 'ideation' area, to market research and business planning, finding and working with partners in, to honing their pitching and presentation skills.

Two Gazelle Entrepreneurs Ben Ramsden, founder of Pants to Poverty, and Priya Lakhani, founder of Masala Masala and SOCO, will join Chlo� Smith, MP for Norwich North for the opening ceremony.

Gazelle has been created by Generator Enterprises, a company founded by five college principals , including Dick Palmer, Principal and CEO of City College Norwich and chairman of Generator Enterprises.

It is also working with some of Britain's most inspirational entrepreneurs to ensure that students are equipped with an ambitious, can-do attitude and prepared for success in employment in today's economic climate.

Mr Palmer said the Start Up lounge will transform further education and help to create the start-up businesses needed for future growth.

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'The StartUp Lounge and the work of our partner College Principals in Gazelle is about transforming further education and helping to create the start-up businesses needed for future growth,' he said. 'Our students are already making fantastic use of the StartUp Lounge and from September we will be making these opportunities an entitlement for all of our 14,000 students.'

Ben Ramsden, Founder, Pants to Poverty said: 'I really wanted to come and see the launch of the StartUp Lounge and find out how the students are using this exciting space. For young people starting their careers in today's economy it is more important than ever to encourage and inspire them to start their own businesses and get experience whilst at college, and the StartUp Lounge will be instrumental in helping young people achieve their dreams.

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'As a Gazelle Entrepreneur I am committed to helping Gazelle Principals use entrepreneurship to change the further education sector and to get more people not just taking jobs but making jobs. It's thrilling to be involved with fellow Gazelles and to put this into action.'

Priya Lakhani, Founder, Masala Masala and SOCO said: 'The education system we currently have is built to push young people down the traditional route of employment which isn't suitable for everyone. Young people today have the talent and creativity required to start their own business, and we need to do more to encourage them to dream big.

'Students at City College Norwich have a fantastic space to inspire them to fulfil their entrepreneurial dreams. I feel privileged to be here today to launch this space and meet a new generation of aspirant entrepreneurs.'

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