A 21-YEAR-old studying at Bangor University has built on her love of public speaking to launch a business.

Olaitan Olawande, who is completing her Masters in Applied Behaviour Analysis, set up Practice What You Speak, to provide public speaking workshops to young people across the UK.

The workshops are targeted at three age ranges, seven-11 years, 12-17 years and ages 18-24, with Olaitan having already run workshops for over 30 young people.

Practice What you Speak is aimed at children who are already comfortable with speaking in public but want to hone their skills, or children who lack confidence and need additional support.

Through activities including tongue twisters, pronunciation practice and debating games, Olaitan said she launched the business to allow children to “feel empowered”.

Olaitan said: “I’ve always thrived off public speaking from a young age and wanted to use that to help others and give them the tools to improve their quality of life from childhood. Setting the foundations early to enable children to feel confident will serve as a lifelong skill.

“Although last year was challenging for virtually all aspects of running a business, the downtime during lockdown was the motivation I needed to adapt the business so it could still operate with social distancing restrictions in place. It was especially rewarding to see that the workshops could still run just as successfully over video call as they did in person.”

Olaitan started her business with the help of Big Ideas Wales, part of Business Wales and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. The service is aimed at anyone between the age of five and 25 who wants to develop a business idea.

Originally launched as a workshop which young people would attend in person, Covid lockdown measures saw Olaitan quickly diversify her business to offer online workshops.

Katherine Lewis, Big Ideas Wales business advisor said: “At the age of 21, Olaitan has taken something she loves and turned it into her own enterprise, applying the skills she learnt at Big Ideas Wales events to develop a solid business. She’s a prime example of a young entrepreneur with ambition and determination, which is a great foundation for growing her business."

Visit www.practicewhatyouspeak.com