Gateshead College will be saying pants to poverty after
announcing its involvement in a national college initiative that
will see students design Olympic-themed underwear for sale.
The first 'Pantrepreneur Challenge' - the first and only one of
its type in the UK - is being run in conjunction with Fairtrade
underwear brand Pants to Poverty. It has been organised by Gazelle,
group of forward thinking college Principals committed to using
entrepreneurship as a strategic driver for change within
Students at Gateshead College will form several business teams
before putting their talents to the test against each other to
create an exclusive design to pitch to Ben Ramsden, founder of
Pants to Poverty.
Team members will include a student designer, financier,
marketer, sales person and manager who are being encouraged to work
and think like entrepreneurs, generating new ideas and a better
understanding of competitive business processes.
Ben Ramsden will unveil in London on 8 June the winning team
from each of the 15 participating colleges based on the best design
and the most commercially viable plan.
The students will then take their plans to the next step
generating revenue and profits from their entrepreneurialism when
their creativity is put into production at Pants to Poverty's
manufacturing facility in India before going on sale at its outlets
around the world.
An overall winning team will also be chosen, enjoying the
opportunity to travel to India to see first-hand the company's
supply chain, from cotton to bottom.
The runners up will get the chance to put their business skills
into action running Pants to Poverty stalls at summer music
festivals while the third prize will be a year's worth of the
The 'Pantrepreneur Challenge' will build on the existing Gazelle
commitment to bring entrepreneurship into the heart of education
creating colleges where the ethos, values and culture is
distinctively geared towards wealth creation, business formation
and growth and employment outcomes. Gazelle has been created
by Gazelle Global a company founded by five college principals
including Gateshead College principal Richard Thorold.
It is already working with some of Britain's inspirational
entrepreneurs to ensure students are equipped with an ambitious,
can-do attitude and prepared for success in employment in today's
tough economic climate.
Richard Thorold said: "The 'Pantrepreneur Challenge' will be a
fun yet unique challenge with a serious purpose that reinforces our
commitment to being an entrepreneurial college.
"It is a real commercial initiative that will inspire our
students and others to take part in a tangible and engaging way
that brings entrepreneurial skills to life.
"It will also teach our students that there can be a strong
social purpose in business and that although making money is
important to keeping our economy going, it doesn't have to be the
only objective at the heart of a business.
It's fantastic to have someone as successful and innovative as
Ben inspiring our students. Pants to Poverty is a great business,
and we expect this contest to be a learning process that will
encourage a real entrepreneurial mindset in those taking part."
Ben Ramsden is a Gazelle Entrepreneur, part of a group of select
business leaders who are working with Gazelle Colleges to bring
their experience of growing successful businesses into the heart of
the further education sector.
He said: "For young people starting their careers in today's
economic climate, it is more important than ever to encourage and
inspire them to start their own businesses and get experience
whilst at college.
"This competition will give students the chance to learn how to
run their own business, while also designing a very sexy pair of
pants! What's more, students will see how even small businesses can
change the world for the better."
"As a Gazelle Entrepreneur, I am committed to helping Gazelle
principals to apply entrepreneurship to the further education
sector, in order to get more people not just taking jobs but making