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Pontypridd entrepreneur wins Welsh Government backing to launch ‘life after education’ business

Press Release   •   Dec 11, 2013 11:59 GMT

Pontypridd entrepreneur Gemma Hallett has secured backing from Communities 2.0, the Welsh Government’s digital inclusion programme to launch a brand new micro-business.

‘miFuture (Steer your Career)’, will offer a new online approach to career profiling aimed at students leaving full time education, with Innovative promotion of post 16 opportunities.

Communities 2.0 has supported miFuture with an investment of over £5000. It has also provided technical expertise and advice. Communities 2.0 is a Welsh Government programme which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The investment will enable the business, which helps education leavers to ‘find earning, learning and training opportunities’, to launch with a website and online branding. The service will be free to both users and teachers and will play an active role in rejuvenating school leavers' experience of finding work opportunities. The business will reverse the established model of simply listing job or career opportunities. miFuture will instead act as a conduit to match relevant opportunities to individual user profiles. miFuture will stream job information direct to users, much like the modern social approach teens are now so adept at using.

Gemma Hallett believes that her experience of working with young people shows that users want a modern approach, where relevant information is delivered directly to them.

“We have to modernise the whole approach, we are bringing school leaver recruitment right up to date and into the 21st century”, she said.

The miFuture website will match jobs to those with appropriate skills, experience and qualifications instantaneously, overcoming search engine barriers that prevent accurate and successful job applications. It is intended that miFuture will engage users of all abilities and will allow users to apply for jobs instantly using CVs and applications already generated by the users profile on the site.

miFuture’s founder, Gemma Hallett is a renowned Rugby Player who has been awarded 35 Welsh caps. She is currently a lecturer in Sport and the Welsh Colleges Girls Rugby Coach. The concept for miFuture is based on Gemma’s frustrations, as a college tutor, of not being able to find useful or engaging 'life after education' websites and resources for her students. She commented,

“I found that students struggle searching for relevant opportunities because there are so many job and course sites, but they are vast with very little relevance to this age group. We needed something new and innovative, a method that brings information to the individual. They are used to Twitter and Facebook, they bring everything relevant direct to them, we’ve had to do the same with this industry. Giving the users what they want, direct to their profile with instant application. It is definitely the future”

Communities 2.0 project director Cathryn Marcus commented:

“Communities 2.0 is delighted to be able to support this innovative resource that will help students with their job search. miFuture is a great example of how this funding can be used to support entrepreneurs to take their ideas, develop them and apply them to identified market opportunities”.

This investment is just part of a total of over £75,000 invested across Wales as part of this round of Communities 2.0 funding. To date over £540,000 has been approved for direct investment in social enterprises and micro businesses in Wales, supporting 100 enterprises. In addition, Communities 2.0 has supported 267 enterprises with significant assistance and advice for adopting or exploiting Information Communication Technology.

Over 330 community groups and organisations have also benefitted from significant assistance and advice from the project, many of whom have used this to inform the creation of new social enterprises.

Communities 2.0

Communities 2.0 is a Welsh Government programme and is part of the Delivering a Digital Wales strategy. Communities 2.0 is delivered by four partner organisations – the Wales Co-operative Centre, Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services, Carmarthenshire County Council and the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling (University of South Wales). Communities 2.0 works in the Convergence area of Wales and parts of Wrexham, Flintshire and Powys, helping communities and small enterprises to make the most of the internet.

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