By Marcus Leach

A transformation of the Further Education sector is the goal of a new group called Gazelle formed of private and public sectors leaders which launches today (Wednesday) at the Association of Colleges Conference in Birmingham.

Gazelle has been created by Generator Enterprises Ltd, a company founded by five leading college principals, that aims to transform the Further Education sector through entrepreneurship.

Gazelle Entrepreneurs, who include Dragons’ Den’s Peter Jones CBE and Doug Richard; Luke Johnson, founder of Risk Capital Partners; and Lara Morgan, founder of Pacific Direct; will bring their knowledge and experience of building and growing successful enterprises to the Further Education sector.

Gazelle Entrepreneurs will help Further Education colleges to ensure that students are equipped and prepared with an ambitious, can-do attitude for success in employment in today’s economic climate.

The entrepreneurs will be working with the leaders, teachers and students of a leading group of colleges to better connect education with entrepreneurship and ultimately to foster a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Gazelle Entrepreneurs comprise the following members:

• Ben Ramsden, Founder, Pants to Poverty
• Claire Young, Founder, School Speakers
• Doug Richard, Founder, School for Startups
• Duncan Goose, Founder and Managing Director, Global Ethics Ltd
• Emma Jones, Co-founder, StartUp Britain
• Eric White, Trustee, Peter Jones Foundation
• Lara Morgan, Founder, Company Shortcuts and Pacific Direct
• Luke Johnson, Founder and Chairman, Risk Capital Partners
• Michael Hayman, Co-founder, Seven Hills and StartUp Britain
• Paul Latham, COO, Live Nation International Music
• Penny Power, Founder, Ecademy
• Peter Jones CBE, Dragons’ Den and Founder, Peter Jones Enterprise Academy (Patron)
• Peter Mountford, Chairman, Heropreneurs
• Priya Lakhani, Founder, Masala Masala and SOCO

They will be advising leading colleges across the UK over the coming year in three distinct ways:

1. Consultancy Capacity: Enhancing the efficiency and impact of Further Education colleges.
2. Entrepreneurial Events: Inspiring and contributing to college leadership events.
3. Enterprise M.O.T.: Engaging with students and staff to assess and improve the colleges’ entrepreneurial culture.

“In the current economic climate it is crucial that we foster a culture of enterprise within our colleges that will give rise to a new generation of student graduates that are prepared and equipped for future employment in the 21st Century," Mariane Cavalli, one of the co-founders of Generator Enterprises Ltd and Principal and CEO of Warwickshire College, said.

“Our aim is to create a new generation of colleges with an ethos, values and culture that are distinctively geared towards wealth creation, business growth and employment outcomes.

“The Gazelle Entrepreneurs will bring their valuable expertise of growing successful businesses right to the heart of the Further Education sector so that more young people are encouraged to think entrepreneurially, which will in turn help to drive economic growth.”

Doug Richard, founder of School for Startups and a Gazelle Entrepreneur, who is also speaking at the AoC Conference said:

“I am a firm believer that entrepreneurship can be taught and must be learned and that’s why I am getting involved in an initiative that puts entrepreneurship at its core.

“We need a new generation of entrepreneurs who will deliver the young, fast-growth, gazelle businesses that create the new jobs, wealth and innovation, and the Further Education sector plays a critical part in delivering on this.”

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