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The last of British Summertime

Autumn term round-up:

We hope you had a chance to enjoy the last of British Summertime!

Here at the Red Potato patch, we’ve been doing some fun video and animations for our great clients. Here is a quick round-up of some of the fabulous projects we’ve been involved with recently:

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Herts LEP) have a made a big commitment to engage young people with Enterprise.  This commitment includes promoting the links between schools and businesses. As part of our work with Herts LEP we’re producing an infographic showing labour market intelligence. The aim of the infographic is to help the Hertfordshire Enterprise Advisors work with schools on careers topics.   If you are interested there are lots of ways you too can become involved via the #Unexpectedmentor campaign

We’ve really enjoyed working with the friendly folk at Wycombe District Council and local businesses such as The Works.  For too long some local business parks and town centres have been neglected. As a result, small things like traffic light phasing, electronic signs not working, overgrown vegetation can quickly make an area look unloved.   So Red Potato staff have been working with local business to get them engaged with improving the space outside their front door.  By working with Business Improvement Districts and business, local authorities can make changes to an area.  The result is that businesses decide to stay and hopefully more businesses become attracted to locate in the area.  Simples!

Beyond Summertime, looking forward to Christmas:

Good luck to all of those people who participated in the #StepIntoHospitality course.  The Red Potato team delivered the course on behalf of Welwyn Hatfield Council.  The course helps local people to apply for jobs in the local hospitality sector and also enables them to sit the exam for Level 2 Food Safety.   Most of all, following the exam, we had another very strong pass rate, which was great to see!  The latest cohort of delegates are now well on their way to securing a job in hospitality and catering.  Well done everyone!   It is going to be a busy time in the run up to Christmas!

Finally, if you’d like to relive summertime; the festivals, food and fun, do have a look at the dogs and their owners enjoying @TheGameFair in Hatfield during July!

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2016-17 Welwyn Hatfield Dragons Apprentice Challenge

2016-17 Welwyn Hatfield Dragons Apprentice Challenge puts fire in the belly!


The successful launch of the 2016-17 Welwyn Hatfield Dragons Apprentice Challenge was in early October.  The teams are now hard at work putting together their plans and learning about how to fully exploit the resources available to them.

Some of the things that have been happening so far include Halloween cake sales, designing goods for the Christmas markets and of course doughnut sales!

Make sure you follow their progress over the next few months by following the Twitter feed @Dragonappwelhat

In addition to direct sales, we hope the teams will look creatively at how they can use the “resources” at their disposal.

We are lucky to have ‘A’ list SuperDragons who are happy to consider helping the teams!  The Welwyn Hatfield Dragons Apprentice Challenge is also a great opportunity to practice and develop networking skills.   If any of the teams would like to find out more about how businesses network, they should attend one of the many business network groups in the area.   One of the groups we are happy to recommend attending is the Welwyn B-49 group

If any of the teams wish to find out more please make contact with us via @Dragonappwelhat


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Mentoring for life: Are troubled teenagers and business entrepreneurs made from the same stuff?

When it comes to mentoring it can mean very different things to different people: ranging from social befriending through to a strict focus on shared objectives mentoring.   Befriending may include things like helping someone to take small steps to overcome a fear of open spaces for example.   The warmth, encouragement and support from befriending can be crucial in helping, as sometimes statutory services are more interested in measuring the output of their work and encouraged to maintain a professional distance from “clients”.     Other benefits such as building confidence may occur following from those first steps outside the home, but in the case of befriending this isn’t the aim.

In my opinion, strict enterprise mentoring involves working with the client on agreed objectives which are stated and agreed from the start – for instance how to prepare a business for trade sale, or entry to a new market.  Any social relationship achieved is incidental to the business objectives.  SFEDI (Sector Skills body for Enterprise) says that mentor/mentee relationship should enable the mentee to “develop goals that will have a positive impact on their business enterprise”.    There is a clear focus and aim for the mentoring relationship.

In contrast to the business objectives of enterprise mentoring, community mentoring is about helping adults and children develop as individuals, so that they find their true self.  To do this the mentor needs to understand their own personal boundaries.  Without an understanding of their identity, the mentor can end up confusing the mentee about who is the client!

So having established the differences between enterprise and community mentoring, I’m now going to say in many ways they are also very similar.  For instance building a relationship based on equality, openness and trust is common to all types of mentoring.    Perhaps less obvious though is the possibility that those same troubled young people could with the right form of guidance and mentoring  go onto to set up and run the next generation of enterprises.   Even if you ignore the other reasons to get mentoring, the powerful impact of mentoring on life chances and entrepreneurialism, should be a strong motivator for business people to get mentoring.