Gary Brocklesby, business advisor from Doncaster Chamber, spoke to around 100 students at University Technical College (UTC), offering guidance on things like how to get a firm off the ground in the first place, the benefits of test trading, and the best ways to generate buzz on social media.
Having successfully established his own business just a few years ago, Gary was a leisure and tourism graduate, and it was always his goal to one day become a travel agent.
After leaving college, he cut his teeth at a holiday company before eventually opening a new firm in 2017.
Since then, he has gone on to work at blue-chip companies and is now a member of the Doncaster Chamber team, where he helps entrepreneurs achieve their own goals via the Launchpad programme, in conjunction with Doncaster Council.
Gary talked about his journey at the UTC event, giving insights and advice along the way. The audience was made up of the college’s innovation and digital students, aged between 16 and 17 years old, who are learning skills in fields like photography, engineering, and IT.
He said: "Having created my own business, I appreciate how daunting it can be to get started when you feel like you don’t know everything. When I was going through that process, I made extensive use of Doncaster Chamber services, and now that I am part of the organisation, I feel so proud to be giving something back.
"A particular highlight for me was getting to the workshop with one young man who is currently getting his bicycle repair business off the ground. We had a really productive conversation about how he could increase his social media presence, make appearances at trade shows and start networking.”
Michelle Agate, careers lead from Doncaster UTC, said: "Gary’s talk was really useful and inspiring. I was especially pleased to see how engaged the students all were and how many fantastic questions they asked. I am confident that they got a lot of value from it and that they will be encouraged to pursue their aspirations further after listening to Gary.”