Tuesday, June 3, 2014

News: Mace makes case for National Entrepreneurial Service

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Jason Mace, managing director of Gala Tent in Rotherham, one of the UK's largest marquee manufacturers, has pitched his idea for a National Entrepreneurial Service, where school leavers would be given support to set up their own businesses.

Jason was invited to attend a private discussion at the House of Lords by Lord Borwick of Hawkshead on the subject of young enterprise and how teenagers leaving school could be encouraged to set up their own businesses and be more enterprising.

Mr Mace was contacted by Lord Borwick, due to his involvement with Rotherham Ready and Rotherham Youth Enterprise, as well as with local schools and colleges including the Peter Jones' Academy at Sheffield College.

Jason presented his ideas to several influential people, including many of the UK's leading entrepreneurs, for a National Entrepreneurial Service. For two years after they leave school, the support would include help with formulating a business idea and creating a business plan and would be backed up by ongoing support from a national body of entrepreneurs. At the end of the two year period, the most successful business ideas would receive a cash prize and an Entrepreneurial Business Award. Jason also explained to the influential delegates about his plans for setting up a social enterprise called the Lennon Tree, which aims to help young people to seek volunteering opportunities and placements that improve their future career prospects.

Jason Mace, entrepreneur and managing director of Gala Tent, said: "It was fantastic to be invited to join this debate at the House of Lords as I am very passionate about helping young people to become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. This country has the potential to be one of the world's most enterprising economies and it all starts with young people.

"I look forward to presenting my vision for the National Entrepreneurial Service to other influential bodies in the future."

Jason is a former board member of Rotherham Youth Enterprise and plays an active part in their events and challenges within schools and colleges in Rotherham. He has been involved for a number of years in setting real life business challenges to the Peter Jones Academy at Sheffield College in a bid to inspire students about the opportunities if they consider setting up their own business, after completing their studies.

Established in 1999 by Mace, Gala Tent the company has expanded from a temporary table top operation in the function room of a local working men's club to an international supplier. Starting with with £2,500 debt on his credit card, Gala Tent has grown to be one of the largest manufacturers of marquees and gazebos in the UK, selling over 10,000 tents and marquees each year, along with around 90,000 event accessories and furniture products. Now based at Manvers, Gala Tent is a preferred supplier for organisations including the military, NHS, the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, South Yorkshire Police Service, St John's Ambulance and AA.

Gala Tent website

Images: Gala Tent

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