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Session 4

Find out about Britain's Great Storm, listen to weather reports, practise grammar and vocabulary and write a report about the weather where you are.

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    Activity 4

Entrepreneurial Spark

Let's take a break from the weather and listen to News Report. Today we can hear all about a successful project to help entrepreneurs develop their business. There's some new vocabulary to learn too, which you can see listed below.

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A scheme started to help entrepreneurs survive the first few years in business is reporting an almost 90% success rate.

Entrepreneurial Spark (or ‘E-Spark’) is a business incubator scheme. It already has bases in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire. An 86% survival rate in its first three years means it may start to support start-ups elsewhere in the UK from February.

The programme provides mentoring and support services for entrepreneurs who are just starting out, as well as networking opportunities to help them in their first year in business.

Companies are required to move on from the so-called 'hatchery' units after an initial phase, creating space for new recruits.

Turnover for firms supported by E-Spark topped £35m in 2014, with the scheme creating more than 1,000 jobs over the three years.

Investment has totalled £18m since E-Spark was established in 2011. It had reached £8m by the end of 2013.

A total of 280 firms received assistance in the first two years, growing to 350 by 2014.

Almost 500 jobs were created by the companies in 2014. They have together registered 386 patents.

The E-Spark model for supporting start-up firms is now being applied in other parts of the UK. Hatcheries could open soon in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Cardiff and Belfast.

The roll-out will continue to have the backing of Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest.

 

This story is based on an original BBC News story.

You can download News Report from our Unit 16 Downloads page.

Vocabulary

entrepreneur
a person who starts their own company, often in a new industry

incubator scheme
a plan or system to help something grow and develop

survival rate
the percentage of a group that continues to exist

start-up
a business which has recently been started

mentor
give someone advice or training over a period of time

start out
begin working

network
meet people who might be helpful to you in your work

hatchery
a building on a farm, where large numbers of chickens or other animals hatch out of their eggs

initial
first; at the beginning

new recruit
new member of an organisation

turnover
the amount of money a business takes in a particular period

top
exceed; be more than

patent
the legal right to make and/or sell an invention for a certain amount of time

roll-out
making a new product available for the first time

 

End of Session 4

That's it for Session 4. Join us in the next session for our weekly quiz where you can test what you've learnt in Unit 16. Plus you can enjoy the next episode of our drama, Frankenstein.

Session Grammar

  • We use might / may / could + verb: for present & future possiblitites; for guesses about the present; when we aren’t sure if something will happen in the future. 

    • I might go to the exhibition this afternoon. (future)
    • He’s in Eastern Europe. He may be in Ukraine. (present)
    • We could have some problems next year. (future)

    We use might not / mightn’t and may not to talk about negative possibility. We cannot use could not / couldn’t for possibility in the same way as might not and may not

    • We might not move into the new offices next year.
    • Our client may not agree with us.

Session Vocabulary

  • entrepreneur
    a person who starts their own company, often in a new industry

    incubator scheme
    a plan or system to help something grow and develop

    survival rate
    the percentage of a group that continues to exist

    start-up
    a business which has recently been started

    mentor
    give someone advice or training over a period of time

    start out
    begin working

    network
    meet people who might be helpful to you in your work

    hatchery
    a building on a farm, where large numbers of chickens or other animals hatch out of their eggs

    initial
    first; at the beginning

    new recruit
    new member of an organisation

    turnover
    the amount of money a business takes in a particular period

    top
    exceed; be more than

    patent
    the legal right to make and/or sell an invention for a certain amount of time

    roll-out
    making a new product available for the first time