Having spent 20 years as a Microsoft Professional and Trainer, Michelle Owens Gregory joined the High Growth Pre Enterprise Programme in April 2013 with her idea to teach children aged 4 -12 Microsoft Office skills for the future. Her original business, the Computer Club, paved the way for the increasingly popular Miniversity.
“I set up ‘The Computer Club’ in October 2012 to operate as After School Clubs and Holiday Clubs for children aged 4-12 years in Belfast. It was never going to be just a Computer Club as all course outlines were written with a ‘business theme’ so young children were learning about different careers as well as valuable life skills. The clubs filled, word spread and within 6 months I had 4 staff on-board as we expanded every term into new schools. There are currently 28 After School clubs and 15 Holiday Clubs running throughout the year covering topics in Spreadsheets, Presentations, Web Design, Movie Making, Publishing Documents, Keyboard Skills, Presenting and Coding.
I wanted to take my business to the next level. I worked with the fantastic Paper Jam and they have created a new name and brand, so from May 2014 we will operate as ‘Miniversity’.”
The Computer Club started 5 years ago (2011) as a voluntary club once a week in a Belfast primary school. The method of ‘fun learning’ combining careers & ICT was a hit. This soon expanded to a number of After Schools running weekly in Greater Belfast, Lisburn & Bangor. A year later the Holiday Camps were introduced for even more fun including daily shows and presentation skills. The company was then rebranded in 2014 with the help of Invest NI and Miniversity Creative Learning Club evolved. Today, 5 years later there are over 100 School Clubs running weekly in Northern Ireland by a team of 15 x teachers, Holiday Camps running throughout year in multiple venues including Dublin and London and the 1st Miniversity Franchise running in the Causeway Coast.
Partaking in the High Growth Pre Enterprise Programme with Ortus, Michelle was able to gain valuable business skills and work one to one with Ortus mentors to enable her to set up her new business. She continued
Miniversity is the UK’s only Computer Club with a careers theme for primary school children. The company has developed instructional material which makes learning about various careers through the use of ICT fun for kids. The lesson plans for each session are designed specifically for children and with future careers in mind. Miniversity covers all university career topics using a variety of computer programs such as Windows Movie Maker, SCRATCH Coding, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Paint and more. In addition they offer Keyboard Skills, Touch Typing, Email & Internet Safety and a big emphasis on Presentation Skills, everything children will need later in life.
Check out the Miniversity website