Shaving ‘King’ backs entrepreneurial Gateshead College

The businessman behind one of the UK's biggest male grooming brands has given his backing to a new initiative which will put entrepreneurship at the heart of further education (FE) and nurture a new generation of young North East entrepreneurs.  

Will King, the entrepreneur behind the 'King of Shaves' brand - second only to Gillette in the UK - was speaking at Gateshead College's'Gazelle'launch at the Baltic Campus - the latest step towards becoming one of a new generation of entrepreneurial colleges.

The Gazelle Group was created by five college principals who include Richard Thorold, Gateshead's principal and CEO, with the aim of bringing the public and private sector together to transform education.

They plan to deliver a nationwide network of local businesses and entrepreneurs who will collaborate with colleges, principals and students to achieve a more entrepreneurial mindset in FE and increase students' chances of success.

Gazelle believes that entrepreneurs can contribute to colleges by providing practical 'learning by doing' opportunities to inspire students to create jobs - not take them.

As an offical Gazelle Entrepreneur, Will King welcomes the action Gateshead College is taking. This will see it place a greater emphasis on equipping North East students with the entrepreneurial skills set and qualities needed to run successful new business start ups or be better equipped to offer employers something different.

He is committed to helping Gateshead College by sharing his experience and the lessons he has learnt building a successful business.

Gateshead College has a reputation for working closely with the business community and will be building on its existing links developing new partnerships, mentoring schemes and investment opportunities.

It will also be creating shadowing and learning opportunities with local companies and entrepreneurs, for example via its new partnership with the region's Entrepreneurs' Forum.

As the Forum's exclusive FE corporate partner, the college's students will benefit from access to the expertise and experience of Forum members and participate in entrepreneurial events and initiatives that would normally be unavailable to them.

Will King, Gazelle Entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of King of Shaves, said:"It will be key to the economic recovery to help the next generation of entrepreneurs to succeed.

"Gazelle's 'learning by doing' approach is one that I am fully behind, and their Gazelle Local programme is a great example of this.

"By harnessing the expertise and help of the local business community, the programme will give students inspiration and knowledge about how to run a business in the real world.

"This will all contribute to Gazelle's admirable objective of achieving a more entrepreneurial attitude within Further Education."

Richard Thorold said: "Education needs to change radically if we are to give our students the skills they need to create their own opportunities or to help them be a first class employee.

"With an entrepreneurial approach to teaching across the whole college, students will develop skills and qualities which will give them a greater chance of success in life and work and which will ultimately help drive our regional economy."

Nigel Mills, chairman of the Entrepreneurs' Forum, said: "Entrepreneurs and the businesses they build are vital to creating the wealth, jobs and a vibrant private sector that the North East needs for a sustainable economic future.

"To that end, it is extremely encouraging to see the work of our new partner Gateshead College in not only equipping young people with the necessary skills for business and supporting innovation, but also in encouraging entrepreneurial thinking and an ambitious, enterprising mindset throughout education.

"We, as the North East Entrepreneurs' Forum, have a central role to play in supporting them.

"All of us in business know what a hugely rewarding experience it is and we have a duty to share what we know, pass on our knowledge, offer the contacts we have and to help inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs."

More than 100 business people and entrepreneurs will be attending the event and will be asked to pledge their commitment to work with the college to develop a new generation of enterprising students who can help re-energise the North East's economy.