Entrepreneurs secure game-changing grant

2-3 degrees

A business established by two former Coventry University students to inspire young people to adopt a positive mind set has secured a game-changing grant to scale up its reach.

Since last year 2-3 Degrees has been running talks and workshops to increase confidence in 11-18- year-olds with low grades or behavioural issues, and has secured a £15,000 investment from UnLtd – a charitable organisation that promotes social entrepreneurship.

The grant comes after co-founders Carl Konadu and Azzees Minott also secured £5000 worth of mentoring and accountancy advice at the Baldwins KickStart Young Entrepreneur Awards last November, which has so far enabled the duo to establish the business and deliver their workshops to more than 1,000 pupils across eight schools.

The firm’s most popular course requested by schools is Self Esteem & Confidence, which encourages pupils to voice their opinions on questions and statements. 2-3 Degrees’ Team Building workshop is also in demand, which involves problem solving such as how to pass a ball through a line of people in a limited time.

Carl and Azzees are now hoping that their additional £15,000 investment will see them reach their long-term aim of engaging with 12,000 pupils by 2021 via an e-learning platform that will accelerate their reach.

“It’s easy for somebody to say they feel more confident at the end of a workshop or course, but we are striving to measure the difference that our work is making to young people’s lives,” said Carl, who met business partner Azzees while studying a BA (Hons) degree in International Relations and Politics at Coventry University.

“The majority of teachers who have taken part in our workshops so far have reported a rise in grades from pupils who have either been underachieving or have behavioural problems – this positive impact is central to our work.

“Now we have proved our model works and we have sufficient funds available, our next task is to expand our workshops for teachers to use in different areas of the country via an online platform made up of videos, quizzes and exercises.

“Our mentor at Baldwins, David Baldwin, has been a massive help and through using his network of contacts, we are in the process of approaching a series of schools with our programmes.”

2-3 Degrees accelerated their business idea by entering the Baldwins KickStart Young Entrepreneur Awards, which are open again this year to anyone aged 18 to 25 with a business idea.

David Baldwin, Board Director at Baldwins, said: “Top-class grades and degrees are one thing, but as a nation we need to be equipping the next generation with the necessary soft skills to prepare them for the world of work.

“Carl and Azzees have got to where they are by utilising the advice around them before investing their money, and their business has the potential to change a lot of young people’s lives.

“The Baldwins KickStart Awards are the ideal avenue for entrepreneurs looking to bring their business idea to life, just like Carl and Azzees have done.”

The deadline to apply for the Baldwins KickStart Young Entrepreneur Awards is Friday, August 31; to enter visit www.baldwinsaccountants.co.uk/kickstart/apply-now