Latest #EntEd news from five EEUK members

Written by Lynn O'Byrne

St Andrews: The Entrepreneurship Centre

The Entrepreneurship Centre at the University of St Andrews opened its doors for the first time in September 2021. In the space of just a few months, the centre has had fantastic success by integrating itself into the university eco-system by providing practical entrepreneurship training to help turn ideas and research into a commercial reality. Across 4 structured programmes covering for-profit enterprise, social entrepreneurship, web development and cloud computing, the training allows participants to develop their ideas further. Alongside the programmes, the centre hosts a busy events calendar including Lunch & Learn workshops, regular pitching sessions and a fantastic Speaker Series. The centre also provides support to university spinouts who have collectively raised £1.2m in non-dilutive funding. Lastly, the centre plays a key role in supporting consultancy projects for the university.

Durham University’s “Game Changer” Included in United Nations SDG Publication

Durham University’s Game Changer programme has been chosen by the United Nations to feature in their “SDG Good Practices: A compilation of success stories and lessons learned in SDG Implementation” publication. Chosen from over 700 submissions down to 21, the case study tells how over 500 students have participated in the programme since 2019. Game Changer uses design thinking tools to enable students to generate solutions to problems highlighted by the SDGs. Click here to read the publication. If you would like a copy of Durham University’s Game Changer toolkit to run the programme with your own students, email rachel.bickerdike@durham.ac.uk.

RGU: engages Regional Startup Accelerator finalists to compete for £80,000 in prize funding

Robert Gordon University successfully hosted their fourth annual Regional Startup Accelerator Programme showcase event, where £80,000 in prize funding were given out to the entrepreneurial teams. At the event, nine finalists got to pitch their business ideas in front of a live audience and a panel of judges. This year 36 teams have taken part in the program and have come up with a broad variety of ideas, ranging from clean energy to safety technology and more. Find out which teams won, by watching the event online and learn who got awarded cash prizes in categories such as ‘Climate Impact Award’ or ‘Regional Impact Award’.

Imperial College: Launch of new podcast

The Imperial Enterprise Lab has recently launched a brand new podcast Black & Found, focusing on amplifying the entrepreneurial journeys of Black/Black mixed heritage founders. The concept of the podcast was inspired by statistics highlighting the lack of investment, promotion and exposure of Black led ventures. The first series welcomes guests with an association to Imperial College London including alumni and one of their Imperial Venture Mentoring Service mentors. Please tune in, be inspired and share!

University of Nottingham: YES22 rethinking the future

YES22 is open for applications! Calling STEM PhDs, postdocs, technicians, early career academics and knowledge exchange professionals, to take part this autumn in Biotechnology YES, Engineering YES or Environment YES to gain commercial awareness and business skills from leading entrepreneurs and practitioners. YES is a global competition for those wishing to deploy novel science and engineering to address environmental and societal challenges. This year’s prize fund is £10k+. Discover more here; join one of our 30-minute online information sessions or help raise awareness.

Latest #EntEd news from six EEUK members

KCL: King’s Business School partner the British Business Excellence Awards

“Celebrating the very best of British business, the Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards are proud to announce that entries are now open. The prestigious awards showcase the most notable businesses in the country, celebrating creativity, innovation and resilience within a variety of industries. The awards host a total of 16 award categories, with five brand new categories for 2022; The Lloyds Bank Sustainable Business of the Year, Diversity Champion of the Year, ESG Champion of the Year, Business Transformation of the Year and Leader of the Year. Enter here before June 13th.

Lancaster: Good Place Podcast 

Good Place Innovators in Lancaster University have launched a podcast as a part of their EEUK research project related to transforming communities with an extra sensitive eye for place, local context and true community needs through inter-connectivity of enterprise and design. This series of podcasts welcomes a diverse collection of place makers, place lovers and place believers aiming to inspire educators to connect to their place and transform their curriculum and students into responsible citizens with curious mind and a greater sense of belonging. Tune in and tell us what you think! Podcasts | Good Place Innovators (lancs.ac.uk)

Manchester: Network Intelligence (nIQ) Coaching launches 

Dr. Daria Tataj, Founder and CEO Tataj Innovation, and Honorary Professor at the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre (MEC) is launching the pilot Train-the-Trainer programme for Network Intelligence coaching. Network Intelligence is the capacity to turn people in your networks into collaborators who help you and your team increase performance, innovate, and grow with a purpose in mind. Learn how to optimise and power your network. This programme is for anyone, who wishes to master the Network Intelligence methodology to accelerate digital transformation, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking and catalyse the organisational change process. Find our more here

UWE Bristol: students Empowering refugee entrepreneurs 

UWE Bristol recently hosted a Social Impact Hackathon – a start-up brainstorming event where UWE students from the Team Entrepreneurship, Law, and Business and Management undergraduate programmes collaborated with refugee and migrant entrepreneurs associated with the West of England Growth Hub and Ashley Community & Housing to ideate solutions to the challenges faced within their ventures. The event helped the participants develop competencies such as team working, problem-solving, leadership, innovation, networking and building rapport and empathy. The teams pitched their solutions to a panel of business experts, receiving valuable feedback to guide them on the next steps of their ventures. 

York: The Myles Challenges App 

A fledgling business founded by University of York alumni has raised £250,000 to develop their fitness app. The Myles Challenges app offers virtual fitness challenges to help organisations with wellbeing, teambuilding, and fundraising. Over 17,000 people have signed up for the platform so far. The business is one of several supported by the University in recent years. In 2020, the University launched a new investment fund, Venture One, which offers funding to help businesses build their product or service to then demonstrate to investors.

Manchester: entrepreneurs share £75,000 prize money at Venture Further Awards 2022

Fifteen teams of Manchester-based entrepreneurs have been awarded cash prizes as part of the annual Venture Further start-up competition hosted by the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre (MEC). The winners were announced during a ceremony hosted by registrar, secretary and COO of The University of Manchester, Patrick Hackett, celebrating  the entrepreneurial talent and creativity of students and recent graduates across The University of Manchester. Lynn Sheppard, Director of MEC, commented: “The annual Venture Further competition is an opportunity for our students and early stage graduates to pitch their start-up ideas and win a significant cash injection to help realise their business goals.” Find out more about the winners

Things That Have Made Me A Better Enterprise Educator

Written by Dr Lauren Ellse

Good jobs are enjoyable and fun, but the best jobs make you want to improve so that you can be better at them.

I feel this way about my role in Enterprise Education and I hope you do too.

I have worked in extra-curricular enterprise support at the University of Bristol since 2017 and have a scientific and entrepreneurial background. As enterprise educators usually work in small, innovative teams delivering programmes to meet specific needs, I am often struck by how similar it is to a start-up… albeit more secure. For me, this is part of the enduring appeal, but I have sometimes found it challenging to identify my skills gaps and ways I can progress. Just as we would recommend that founders focus on their own personal development as well as business success, perhaps we need to practice what we preach…

This blog is for those new to enterprise education who are keen to find development opportunities. EEUK has lots of ways to support you and recognise your achievements so please check out the development section of the website, but here are some personal reflections on things that have helped me so far…

Road trip!

Visiting other institutions can give you fresh ideas and allows you to see how their programmes work in the context of their city/town. Importantly, you will meet fellow enterprise educators working in similar roles who are great contacts for sharing best practice with moving forward.

I was fortunate enough to receive funding to visit three universities through the Richard Beresford Bursary in 2018 and would encourage you to apply.

Network your socks off

Attend as many events as you can in areas that interest you. IEEC is the ultimate networking event and a brilliant opportunity to showcase work as well as connecting with the enormous EE community. My top tip would be to talk about something your team are finding challenging and that has a broad impact. Neil Coles and I ran a session on the new Start Up Visa regulations for IEEC 2019. No-one had the answers, but the room was buzzing, and it started conversations which continued after the conference.

My other tip would be to attend events that are slightly out of your comfort-zone. Last year I found the IAN conference particularly insightful despite misgivings that our student enterprise team wasn’t really an accelerator. Conversations with incubator and accelerator managers helped me to benchmark the value on offer at Bristol and understand the challenges and opportunities at a national level.

Join the conversation

Join groups and networks where you can contribute to the conversation and learn from others. EEUK have Membership Advisory Groups (MAGs) which meet quarterly to discuss opportunities and challenges relating to your professional pathways and generate solutions to share throughout the network.  Another group I have found invaluable is the excellent Network for Coaching and Mentoring Entrepreneurs set-up by Dr Harveen Chugh and Victoria Nicholl. This group is all about sharing and discussion, sessions are expertly run and hugely impactful.

Be an advocate and find yours

It is a privilege to work with innovative future founders every day. I always try to find opportunities to be their cheerleader within my organisation. The insight we have is valuable because trends, needs and outlooks change quickly in this field, and I have found this has helped me build internal connections and programme awareness.

Finally, reach out to your network and ask for help and advice. Perhaps you’re fortunate, as I am, and have a supportive manager with whom you can discuss development opportunities with, but I would also suggest talking to a range of more senior colleagues working in different areas of enterprise education. Picking their brains about their career path and how they achieved their position might help you make your next step.

Dr Lauren Ellse, Enterprise Adviser, University of Bristol

Latest #EntEd news from six EEUK members

Dundee: “Entrepreneurship Week 2022’

Entrepreneurship Week 2022 from the Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Dundee showcased the local entrepreneurial spirit as well as an array of opportunities to learn from, be inspired by, and connect with business speakers and their success stories. As well as a series of workshops for budding entrepreneurs, we saw the final of Scotland’s largest university business idea funding competition – Venture 2022. Our annual public lecture was conducted by Christopher McCann – founder of Current Health – click here. Chris was studying medicine at Dundee and within 7 years took Current Health to being the 2nd largest digital health exit in Europe. Centre for Entrepreneurship : University of Dundee.

Derby: New Regional Economic Observatory to positively impact businesses, people and communities.

A new initiative designed to support local businesses and communities, has recently been launched by the University of Derby. The University of Derby Regional Economic Observatory (UDREO) aims to work with local businesses to build a robust evidence base to inform economic and social policy deliberations, engage with people and communities, and produce analysis to support engagement with local and national government policy.The University will regularly collect empirical data on business intelligence, social attitudes and the labour market, so it can report on the real challenges, barriers and opportunities facing the region. Find out more.

Portsmouth: University of Portsmouth – creating a toolkit to improve the student experience on external projects

The University of Portsmouth is nearing completion of the Student Engagement in Knowledge (SEKE) toolkit aimed at enhancing knowledge exchange for students working on external projects. The toolkit will be available across UK HE, with tips, guidance and other resources for students, academic and external collaborators. We have also been conducting secondary research, interviews and surveys to gain insights about the enablers and barriers to successful learning in SEKE projects. Our work is one of 20 SEKE projects funded by the Office for Students and UK Research and Innovation.  Contact us at cscb@port.ac.uk

RGU: secures over £450,000 in funding for entrepreneurship programmes

Robert Gordon University have successfully secured funding from the North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund to deliver a range of programmes to upskill entrepreneurs and boost business growth both in the university community and for the wider region. The Regional Startup Accelerator which saw hundreds of applications has taken on 36 teams who will get equity-free seed funding, mentorship, co-working space and training while the short courses provide upskilling opportunities for founders in key sectors such as creative industries, food, drink and tourism as well as one focusing on enterprising women. Find out more online.

Hertfordshire: National University Business Competition

The University of Hertfordshire (Led by Stephen Robinson) supported 2 teams in the semi-finals of the national University Business Competition, with one team making it through to the final. The University Business Challenge Worldwide is the world’s longest established simulation-based online competition designed to develop Undergraduate and Postgraduate employability skills.

Bristol: University launches Student Start-up Accelerator

Enterprise Educators UK Honorary Fellow and External Partnership Manager at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Neil Coles said, “for many years I’ve noted the excellent support delivered to get students ready for self-employment by our Careers Service here at Bristol and the world-renown support of SETSquared, but what happens between the two? Well that’s where I’d position the fantastic Runway initiative.  We’re about supporting first investments and getting graduate starts ready for whatever comes next.” Find our more online.

Latest #EntEd news from six EEUK members

Written by Lynn O'Byrne

Aston: BSEEN celebrates student entrepreneurs with startup showcase.

Over 300 people gathered at the Custard Factory in Birmingham on 17 February for a celebration of student and graduate entrepreneurs in Birmingham. The BSEEN Showcase 2022 highlighted the work of 40 entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the award-winning 12-month start-up support programme which helps participants to make their ideas a reality through expert training, mentoring, funding and a supportive entrepreneurial community. BSEEN is a collaboration between Aston University, Birmingham City University, University College Birmingham and Newman University. Businesses featured at the exhibition included Chefiesta (a diverse meal prep company) and Hummingbird (platform connecting investors with start-ups in the developing world). Find out more here.

Portsmouth: University of Portsmouth ‘Pitch to the Experts’ Day.

Inspirational, confidence building, valuable, highlight of the year, making connections – these are some of the words used following our first ‘Pitch to the Experts’ day at the University of Portsmouth. We have a strong Entrepreneurs in Residence Programme; 30 entrepreneurial alumni and business owners who support our enterprising endeavours in many ways, however time is precious and therefore limited. This is where the day of pitching, Q&A, and 1:1 round table discussion came in; 8 students pitching to 8 Entrepreneurs dragons den style, seeking advice, connections and maybe some investment.

Glasgow: University of Glasgow StartUp Factory weekend 

The annual University of Glasgow StartUp Factory weekend recently made a return to our annual calendar having paused since 2019. Delivered on campus, the event supported students to develop a new business idea over the course of 48 hours before pitching to a panel of judges for a £1,000 prize. More information can be found about the event and our winners here

 

Gloucestershire: Start and Grow Enterprise

Start and Grow Enterprise is a project funded by the University of Gloucestershire and the European Regional Development Fund. We offer new businesses expert training, interactive workshops, networking events, the chance to apply for a £1,000 reimbursed grant, and the opportunity to benefit from 1-to-1 business coaching. As Start and Grow Enterprise enters its 5th year, the business support team have engaged with over 1,200 new entrepreneurs and given out 11,500 hours of business support, worth over £350,000, and given out another £75,000 in business grants. This support has resulted in an average 10% increase in turnover for early-stage businesses. Read the full blog here.

UWTDS: First Harmonious Entrepreneurship online competition

On 2nd March, IICED, UWTSD’s Professor of Practice David A. Kirby & Felicity Healey-Benson successfully launched the first Harmonious Entrepreneurship online competition in partnership with the UWTSD and the University of Malaya-Wales. The competition introduces students and staff to Harmonious Entrepreneurship (HE) and encourages the formation of HE ventures that address the sustainability challenge. In addition to well-stocked event webpages, participants are signposted to an online-short course (part-funded by EEUK), 60+ case studies, and skills-focused videos. All entrants will receive feedback and participation certificates. There are cash prizes, venture support, and potential access to Circklo’s sustainability business configurator package. Read more.

KCL: Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Chancellor visit King’s College London to hear from female entrepreneurs

Ahead of International Women’s Day 2022, Leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer MP and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel Reeves MP yesterday (Monday 7 March) visited the Entrepreneurship Institute (EI) at King’s College London to discuss how women can be better supported to thrive as entrepreneurs and the role universities can play in making this happen. Read more.

Latest enterprise news from EEUK members

Written by Kate Beresford

LSBU: Students provide award-winning solutions for the local business community

London South Bank University’s (LSBU) Business Solutions Centre, a student-led initiative providing bespoke advice to local businesses, has been awarded the Enterprising Learning Provider of the Year Award at this year’s IOEE Celebrating Enterprise Awards. Since opening in 2016, 26 student Advisors from LSBU’s School of Business have supported 60 entrepreneurs on a range of issues including marketing and financial planning. Daniele Nebiolo, an Accounting and Finance student and Business Solutions Advisor, said: “We’ve gained a lot of experience at the Centre by helping start-ups in the community. It really is the best way to put our knowledge into practice.”

Portsmouth: Preparing students for tomorrow’s world

The University of Portsmouth’s, Department of Employability were delighted to host the annual Employability and Enterprise Conference for academic staff with a focus on enterprise; “Preparing Our Students for Tomorrow’s World: Exploring the challenge of preparing our students for jobs that don’t yet exist where they will use technologies that have not yet been invented in order to solve problems which are not yet problems.” Keynote speaker, Christopher Howard, dazzled the audience providing insights into life as an entrepreneur and the importance of an enterprising mind-set based upon lessons learnt. Breakout sessions, led by staff and students, shared practical examples of embedding enterprise. For more information click here.

Northumbria: Top university for graduate start-ups

Northumbria University has been named as the UK’s top university for graduate business start-ups based on turnover, for a second year running. According to the latest report by the Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HEBCIS) 2016/17, turnover from Northumbria graduate businesses has hit £80.3m – over £30m more than the second placed institution. The combined turnover for Northumbria graduate businesses also grew by more than £10m on the previous year.

Since 2009, Northumbria has supported the development of more than 200 graduate businesses, which currently employ over 1,000 and now have a combined annual turnover in excess of £80m. Click here for the full story.

Solent: Student creative agency provides real-world experience

Set in an agile creative space in the hub of the East Park Terrace campus and staffed by a team of practicing freelancers and business owners, Solent Creatives offers students a wide range of freelance and business start-up support. With a huge range of links with industry clients the agency provides students freelance work in a range of disciplines so that they can gain valuable experience whilst expanding their portfolio, and obtaining real-world experience. Founded in 2011, Solent Creatives has had over 3600 students sign up and offered over 2000 projects for over 1400 clients. Over 90% of the projects completed are paid, with all money going direct to the student freelancers. In the past 5 years Solent Creatives has helped students earn over £210,000. View the Solent Creatives showreel here.