Issue date: 09 October 2015
The University of the West of England is supporting the 'Ask About Me' event organised by Babbasa, a Bristol based social enterprise dedicated to empowering young people to advance in employability and enterprise skills.
'Ask About Me' takes place on Saturday 24 October at the Bristol Hotel, and presents opportunities for young people to connect with professionals, entrepreneurs and local leaders so that they can learn about diverse career options and gain help through a mentoring scheme.
Jo Midgely, UWE Bristol Pro Vice- Chancellor, said, “UWE Bristol is supporting the 'Ask About Me' event because we believe strongly in social mobility and we want to do something positive to support initiatives that are engaging young people residing in Bristol.
“The mentoring programme run by Babbasa is very attractive to us because the organisation has a passionate commitment to engaging young people through positive role models. The 'Ask About Me' event encourages professionals from all backgrounds to come forward and offer to become mentors to young people giving them insight and access to networks that they might otherwise not have the opportunity to reach.
“We also hope that by giving our support that the young people who take part will be encouraged to take up opportunities at our university and also that our staff will be inspired to take the chance to participate as mentors.”
'Ask About Me' was established by Poku Osei who is currently studying part-time for an MSc in Business Management at UWE Bristol. Poku said, “Ask About Me is more than just an annual event. Every year, it enables interested young people to gain accredited skills training, through project managing the event and in team building. Expecting a sell out with 100 young people and 100 professionals attending, we are confident that this event will open doors and raise aspirations of all who take part. We are delighted that UWE has agreed to sponsor the event. It makes a tremendous difference to the lives of so many young people.”
Tanaka Chigwada, 21, is a former youth ambassador for Babbasa who is now a resident entrepreneur on the E-Spark Incubation Programme.
Tanaka said, “Amongst the barriers and challenges I had to overcome when I was younger, I didn't know many people who ran their own businesses. I also did not know how to access the right information or knew people willing to support me with my ideas of inspiring other young people to live a better life.
“I heard of Babbasa last year and got involved with their annual 'Ask About Me' project. Through 'Ask About Me', I had the opportunity to actually organise and deliver various presentations to both businesses and young people by taking part. They also helped me to finally secure a mentor, who supported me with getting my ideas down on paper and subsequently turning them into a business plan.
“Babbasa has enabled me to see the hard work that's required in running a business day in, day out and it has given me the drive to further reach out and encourage other young people to not allow their environment to limit their dreams. I think young people need to believe in their ambitions and not to be afraid of dreaming big.”
Luke Sapsed, CEO of KOJI, a soft drink brand, was Tanaka's mentor; he said, “I met Tanaka at the 'Ask About Me' event last year. He struck me as someone who wanted to get on and improve the lives of a lot of other people and I responded to that really strongly. I think Babbasa has done a good job with him and for anybody who wants experience and to excel in something, if it's for themselves or for their greater society then I think Babbasa is a great organisation that can help you do that.”
If you would like to attend the 'Ask About Me' event see details here https://aam2015.eventbrite.co.uk or 079 30 147 193.
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