Shaped By Solent

Led By: Georgina Shepherd – Retail Manager, Gunwharf Quays

The Shaped by Solent project brings together Solent Academies Trust, Shaping Portsmouth and a range of high-profile businesses to mentor and provide experience in business and public speaking to classes of SEND students. 

Their task is to brainstorm, create, and present products the students could sell at the Shaping Portsmouth Conference, with profits from funds raised going to the schools to benefit their students and facilities. 


  1. To provide mentoring and experiential learning opportunities to SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) students. By partnering with high-profile businesses, the project can offer students practical experience in business and public speaking, which could enhance their employability and life skills. 
  2. To promote creativity and innovation among SEND students. This objective could help students develop their problem-solving skills and encourage them to think outside the box. 
  3. To teach entrepreneurial and business skills to SEND pupils within Portsmouth and promoting their employability to Portsmouth businesses.  

Current Initiatives

  • Team mentoring
  • Dragons Den-style pitch session
  • Manufacture and sales of student-designed products


  • 7 groups of special education needs students from Solent Academy Trust schools took part in 2023

  • The groups were supported by 7 mentors and 4 judges from the Portsmouth Business Community

  • Shaped By Solent Shop ran at the Shaping Portsmouth 2024 Conference, raising £791.42 for Solent Academy Trust

  • New retail outlets at Spinnaker Tower & Collective Shop


Want to know more about this programme? Contact us.