BiGYEC 2011/2012 – Highlights so far…

©BiGYEC (19)

It’s been over a year since the BiGYEC started. In that time, the club has grown from a core membership of 10 founder members to a database of over 80 business-minded teenagers in Sheffield. Here are some highlights of the key moments in the club’s lifetime so far:

  • The first ever BiGYEC event takes place on the 2nd of March 2011. x19 ambitious, bright, and friendly young entrepreneurs turn up to Electric Works – the multimedia hub by Sheffield Train Station. Rebecca Jackson and Alex Gwynne from both give presentations about their businesses FunkySprout and AG Paper Toys, followed by Dan from City Magicians wows us with amazing magic tricks.
  • The BiGYEC holds 2 Saturday morning sessions led by Bob Sanderson from which the BiGYEC brand logo is born. Throughout spring & summer 2011, we are also privileged to welcome several local business men and women covering everything from Accountancy to Manufacturing to Sales and Pitching&Presentation Skills
  • Over the summer holidays, the BiGYEC team work on developing the club. By the end of the summer, the club has its own website, Facebook Group, Twitter account, and a board of members who make decisions about how the club is run and act as BiGYEC ambassadors in their schools and local communities.
  • The new academic year gets off to a flying start, with the BiGYEC spending a day at the MADE Festival, with entrepreneurs from all over the UK. New board member and winner of the 2010/2011 BiG Challenge Rebecca Jackson meets with Mark Prisk – the Government Minister for Business and Enterprise – to tell him about the club.
  • The first BiGYEC event of the school year sees x48 students from all over Sheffield turn up to hear from the heads of St.Vincent’s Furniture Store and MacMillan Fundraising in Sheffield. Both talk about the importance of volunteering. Photos courtesy of photographer Mark Harvey.
  • October 2011: BiGYEC Board members take a lead role in launching The BiG Challenge – the popular enterprise competition that takes place across schools and colleges in Sheffield.
  • The year ends with the BiGYEC Christmas Party at which Jared Manley from City Magicians entertains club members with a bag of tricks that keeps everyone on the edge of their seats. On the same evening, BiGYEC board member Alex Gwynne wins the National Axa Enterprise Award, beating off competition from across the UK and another BiGYEC member.
  • The BiGYEC joins with Sheffield Hallam University’s enterprise incubation network The Hatchery for a special networking event. Members of both groups give presentations, followed by a speed-business-dating activity. Event photographer Mark Harvey ( observed that “The interaction between the young people and the hatchery was electric…it was the quality of the engagement of those young people – I was blown away.”
  • BiGYEC members and parents take part in consultation sessions for UTC Sheffield – a new University Technical College to be based in Sheffield City Centre. To find out more about UTC Sheffield, visit
  • New board members elected, and BiG Challenge winners ‘Scrabtagz’ join the BiGYEC with a presentation at their first ever event. Also at the 1st May event is Steven Briscoe (IT Entrepreneur) who aged 19 won a national award for an App he built. Steven shares his photos and experience of visiting famous companies in Silicon Valley and pitching to investors.
  • The BiGYEC carries on going from Strength to Strength…

List of guest speakers & presenters @BiGYEC since it’s launch

Adam Howard – Business Development Officer at  – Green Incubator

Alex Gwynne: Founder – AG Paper Toys

Andrew Seaton: Founder – Resolve IT

Bob Sanderson: Founder – Sanderson Bob Studio

Daniel Bingham: S.Burgess Accountants

Dan Ellis and Jared Manely: Founders – City Magicians

Dean Maragh: Founder – The Watershed

Andrew Sale and Graeme Tidd: PJEA at Sheffield College

Duncan Vaughan and Chris Basford: Founders – The Grand Old Ukes of Yorkshire

Joe Panasiuk: Founder – All Vintage Minis

Jonathan Jesson: ex-Creative Sheffield now at 

Lydia Jepson: Founder – Recarry

Martin Manning: Start-up specialist advisor at – M2 Ventures

Neil Anderson: Founder – All Credit Media

Peter Barton: Independent Training Consultant at – Mayfield Training & Development

Ralph Dickins: Fundraiser and administrator at – St. Vincents Furniture Store

Rebecca Jackson: Founder – FunkySprout

Richard Vaughan: Sales Executive at – Cannon Hygiene

Rob Turner: Fundraising Manager at – MacMillan

Ruth Amos: Founder – Stair Steady

Sean MacAskill: Lead Business Mentor for NET 315 project at – The Sheffield College

Sheffield Hallam University – Venture Matrix

Sheffield Hallam University – The Hatchery

Steven Briscoe – Lead Software Engineer at – Woodle

Teresa Jolley: CSR Manager at – Kier Sheffield

Winners of the 2011/2012 BiG Challenge – Scrabtagz

Yvonne O’Donovan: Founder – Ambel