UK parents and children set to get help with homework through University student
Published Tuesday 8th March 2011
Student Abigail Ehoff is already making her mark on the business world – thanks to an enterprising idea which is set to help frustrated parents and children complete homework across the UK.
The 20-year-old from Burton Latimer, who is studying for a Business Entrepreneurship and Marketing degree at The University of Northampton, has won an award and funding to turn her idea into a reality. She is now preparing to launch her new 'Parental Guidance' website to support parents who want to help their children with their homework.
The site, set up as a social enterprise model - which means it will be run with a social rather than profit making purpose - will be subscribed to and paid for by senior schools and is set to offer parents free of charge guidance notes that will enable mums and dads to help their children, without giving answers or doing the work themselves.
Abigail explained: Abigail's business idea has already generated a lot of excitement, with the student winning an HE Social Entrepreneurship Award recently - launched by UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
"Before I came to university and studied the social enterprise module in my course, I had no idea what a social enterprise was. I had always wanted to run my own business and my idea stems my own efforts to help my 11-year-old brother Jack with his homework. I struggled, never mind my parents who had been out of school a lot longer than me. When I researched on the internet I discovered there was nothing available to help parents coach their child with homework that had been set by the school."Abigail Ehoff
Along with the award and funding of £2,900, Unltd and HEFCE has provided Abigail with a support network including solicitors, business development managers, accountants and an assigned mentor.
The student has also received £2,500 of funding and £3,000 of tailored business support from Enterprise Inc, a government initiative run within The University of Northampton.
Feedback to Abigail's new business venture:
Abigail's brother, Jack, loves his sister's new business venture:
"When I get stuck with my homework and mum and dad can't help me I try to use the internet but can never find anything that helps. It gets very frustrating, so I think that Abigail's idea is great. I am also really happy that Abigail was inspired by me!"Jack Ehoff
Abigail's mum, Deborah, added:
"Abigail has been inspired by an everyday problem which not only affects our family but probably most families with school aged children. I am delighted that she has been able to find an easy, user friendly solution which will hopefully lead to stress free homework sessions for many families like us. I am very proud that her idea has been validated by winning the awards."
The University of Northampton's Tim Curtis, said:
"What an inspiration. After doing my Introducing Social Enterprise module, Abigail was so inspired by the social enterprise model that she had applied to Unltd for funding before she has even completed the class assignments! With the annual financial turnovers of projects from social entrepreneurs growing almost twice as quickly as those of traditional businesses, social entrepreneurs are increasingly at the forefront of social innovation and economic recovery."Tim Curtis
The University of Northampton's strategy is to put social enterprise at the heart of the student experience.
Professor Simon Denny, Social Enterprise Development Director at the University concluded:
"Abigail's new business is a brilliant example of how we have integrated social enterprise with the curriculum, supported a very able young entrepreneur to bring her idea to fruition, and joined up with UnLtd, to bring in their expertise and experience."
"The University has devised new accredited modules that enable all students to develop their social enterprise knowledge and skills, whatever their degree subject. Social enterprise is not just for Business School students, it is about developing new ways of working to improve the economic, social and environmental world, and all our students, and staff, are sharing in the exciting opportunities the new strategy offers."Simon Denny