Realise! aimed to support and develop the entrepreneurial skills and inventions of young disabled people in the South East through a programme of opportunities, to allow young people to develop key business skills, explore their entrepreneurial energies, and appreciate the value of international collaboration in a world-class business environment. Also, to create a legacy of improved representation and opportunities for young disabled people in business and enterprise, increasing the number of young disabled business leaders and entrepreneurs and helping organisations to achieve a cultural shift in their own practice.
The programme nurtured the enterprising skills of 40 disabled young people through a comprehensive menu of development opportunities including mentoring and peer support, workshops, work placements, accredited qualifications, business development sessions and training, competitive events and bespoke/tailored skills development sessions. They were inspired, supported, encouraged to identify and follow their ambitions, they developed critical business skills and accessed a number of learning experiences. All 40 young people benefited from a work placement; one school group reached the final and came third in the 2012 Reaching For Gold competition – a competition encouraging innovation in young people; audiences of over 6150 were reached through gigs, festivals and presentations. The project worked with a range of businesses in the South East and helped to create a culture shift within those organisations.