YORK’S out and out gusto for celebrating the talent, inventiveness and determination of entrepreneurial individuals has been prevalent over the last few weeks.

The city has been buzzing with chat among corporates, SMEs, established businesses, start-ups, students and those thinking of starting a business during the ever inspiring York Business Week. Events of all shapes and sizes showcased the city's flourishing businesses and the wealth of advice that's available to them locally.

Stimulating speakers, sound business advice, knowledge sharing and best practice are what make the week such a fantastic initiative to be part of – just some of the reasons York St John University puts its name to it. Our Enterprise Day attracted more entrepreneurs than in previous years. From individuals exploring new paths due to changes in circumstances, to those with established business ideas, we have been fortunate enough to talk to, support and signpost some of York's brightest sparks. I was also hugely privileged to have been involved in the finalist selection process of York Press' Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. The finalists each offer something unique; yet share the same passion and determination for the success of their product or service. They are all under the age of 30 with an interesting story to tell about how they arrived at their business idea. While it was a difficult choice to make, it was great to see Ryan Atkins pick up the award on the night.

Big pat on the backs go to our former Acorn programme members – Sophie Jewett at York Cocoa House and Owen Turner at United by Design – for their recent award successes, and to Phoenix Centre tenant Now & Then for winning Tourism and Hospitality Business of the Year.

And they are not the only innovative young businesses who've been busy. Some of the young entrepreneurs currently in residence at our Phoenix Centre incubation space met Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, at his recent visit to the University. Each of them had an opportunity to explain their journey from initial idea to commercialisation, describing their plans for growth and the challenges they have experienced along the way.

Dr Cable’s recognition of the value of the peer support and guidance received as a Phoenix Centre tenant, including opportunities to interact with other like-minded individuals, was a fantastic reinforcement of the value we see in making that support available to young entrepreneurs.

We have so many start up and established business achievements to celebrate and my goodness we do it well! We can all learn from the enthusiasm and determination of York's bright sparks and perhaps we might even see some of you this time next year!