Introducing the new Chairs of EEUK’s pathway networks

Written by Rob Edwards


Katrina Starkie, Chair, Influencer Pathway Network

Katrina Starkie is smiling at the camera. She is wearing a jacket. I am the Space and Community Manager at the Dryden Enterprise Centre. In between making the Dryden Enterprise Centre the best place to base a business, you’ll find me championing marketing, supporting entrepreneurs, and getting clued in on investment and business growth.

After studying Broadcast Journalism at NTU I started a film production company with a colleague during my 3rd year. We grew the business (and won some shiny awards) and then merged it with a larger marketing agency where I became the Marketing Director (and won some more shiny awards) and worked with clients from around the world.

After 8 years my feet were starting to itch, and my heart led me back to where the magic began – Nottingham Trent University – in 2021.

Now, I’m the mama hen to the Dryden Enterprise Centre. From spreading the word about our fantastic facilities to ensuring every nook and cranny is in tip-top shape, you’ll find me clucking around to ensure everything is all under control.

I take enterprise education seriously – I snagged the Rising Star Award at the National Enterprise Educator Awards 2023 – and appreciate the role people like me have to play in influencing entrepreneurial minds.

With support from our team at NTU Enterprise we make sure the DEC is not just a workspace, it’s a community where ideas soar and success stories are written.

Andy Mew, Chair, Practitioner Pathway Network

A photo of Andy Mew. He is smiling at the camera, wearing glasses and a red shirt.My name’s Andy Mew and I’m the Head of Startup Support at the University of Essex.

My role includes overseeing the development of enterprise and entrepreneurship education opportunities for students as a co- and extra-curricular offer, as well as programmes of support for graduate startups. Alongside this, I also have responsibility for Angels@Essex, our investment platform.

I’ve always had an interest in business – from starting my own car wash service at the age of 13 to being a Duty Manager and helping run a 2000-person nightclub whilst at uni, through to helping run a family-owned business and then setting up my own freelance hustle as a copywriter and growth strategist.

After some time spent digital nomad-ing around Asia, New Zealand, and South America, I set up shop at Essex, growing the team from two staff and two consultants to nine staff and four consultants – working to embed entrepreneurship at the heart of the university here.

I genuinely believe student enterprise roles are the best in the university and want to help practitioners futureproof what they do. I also want to help them demonstrate their value to the institute to create well-rounded, and well-resourced, student enterprise teams.

I love what I do and believe the skills entrepreneurship offers are of the utmost importance to develop the next generation of graduates – regardless of whether they start their own thing or go into employment.

Reach out to me via if you want to discuss ways to better support practitioner-led enterprise.

Carys Watts, Chair, Academic Pathway Network

Carys is smiling at the camera and wearing a red top.Hello, it’s Carys here, I’m a Senior Lecturer in Bioscience Enterprise at Newcastle University, UK. I started my HE journey with a microbiology degree, then continued with bench science through my PhD and several years’ post-doctoral research (whilst taking evening class qualifications in management), before moving to a Teaching and Scholarship Academic pathway. I’ve always been determined to keep learning and questioning which has helped my personal development; completing additional qualifications including the Academic route FEEUK, Newcastle Policy Academy Fellowship, and the experiential IEEP, and studying an online bio-commercialisation course in lockdown so I could appreciate the experience of my students learning online.

My role involves teaching both science and enterprise and I underpin this with pedagogy involving creativity and experiential learning. I keenly embed and emphasise my values through my work, including commitment to inclusivity and equity of opportunity for students and staff; I co-wrote our school Athena SWAN bronze award application and I lead on Global Education for my Faculty; including student physical and virtual mobility and co-teaching. I am currently working towards Principal Fellowship of Advance HE (currently SFHEA) predominantly based on my enterprise education and commitment to UN SDGs and equality. I am a member of the Regional (Northeast) Enterprise Community of Practice and Newcastle Enterprise Academy, and work with colleagues across and outside my institution to embed enterprise concepts and sustainable behaviours.

At my institution I actively support my colleagues through mentoring, and I am proactive in initiatives that align with my personal values to improve the working environment and work-life balance (NUWomen, single parents’ group, bicycle users’ group). I hope that my experience, enthusiasm and approach to helping others find and articulate their value and meaning will be of benefit to those following the Academic Fellowship pathway.

EEUK President’s Address 2023

Written by Dave Bolton

A photo of Dave Bolton. He is wearing a suit and smiling at the camera.For all our EEUK members, collaborators and friends.

As we come towards the end of yet another year, I extend warm and heartfelt greetings to each and every member and friend of EEUK. This festive season is a time for reflection, gratitude, and celebration, and I am really pleased to have the opportunity of writing this short message.

This year has been filled with challenges, triumphs, and moments that have tested our resilience as individuals and as a collective community. Yet, through it all, the strength of the EEUK ‘family’ has remained, proving that together, we can overcome any obstacle that comes our way.

The festive season provides us with a big opportunity to express our appreciation for the ties that bind us—ties forged through shared goals, common values, and the collective dedication to the mission of EEUK. It is a time to acknowledge the hard work, passion, and commitment that our Board of Directors, Operations team and most importantly what each and every member brings to our organisation, contributing to its success and growth.

As we celebrate this special time of the year, let us also remember those who may be facing challenges or difficulties. EEUK stands as an advocate of support and compassion, and it is through our actions that we can make a meaningful impact in the work of others. This festive season, I encourage each member to consider how we can extend a helping hand to those in need and foster a spirit of generosity within our community in the spirit of entrepreneurship and collegiality.

Looking ahead to the coming year, personally, I am really excited about the opportunities that lie before us. IEEC Belfast in September 2024 will be the first time we have taken the conference outside of mainland UK and will open up the support EEUK can provide to a wider audience. We are also looking forward to forging links in other parts of the world in conjunction with our partner organisations. Together, as part of a wider community, I am positive we will continue to strive for excellence, innovation, and positive change. The collaborative efforts of our diverse membership will undoubtedly propel EEUK to new heights, creating a lasting legacy for the years ahead.

In closing, I want to express my deepest gratitude for the privilege of serving as your President. It is an honour that I hold with great humility and pride. On behalf of all the EEUK Board and wider team I want to express my wishes for a happy and peaceful Christmas period, and I also hope that the New Year brings prosperity, fulfillment, and continued success to each and every member of our EEUK.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Warm regards,

David Bolton

President Enterprise Educators UK

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Christmas consultation!

Written by Alison Price

As the year comes to a close, key questions are being asked in national consultations and you can still respond!

EEUK has been sharing its views, drawn from as far back as the APPG report in 2014, where we made the case for an education system fit for an entrepreneur with the ESRC horizon-scanning survey: Work, Education and Skills and following the stand taken by AGCAS to respond to the national consultation on higher education graduate outcome statistics.  Share your views direct with or contribute to your institutional response.


  • Two-thirds of careers services now have responsibility for supporting student entrepreneurship, up from 37% in 2019.
  • More students are enquiring about entrepreneurship. One third of careers professionals said this comes up in at least half their interactions with students, compared to just 9% in 2019.
  • Almost three-quarters (74%) of careers professionals see enterprise and entrepreneurship as an intrinsic part of careers advice.
  • Overall levels of confidence among careers staff in delivering enterprise and entrepreneurship support are not high and appear to have stagnated since 2019, with just over half of respondents saying they are confident.

EEUK and AGCAS are proud to be working together to support this challenge through our EEUK FASTTRACK programme, so keep your eyes out for our 2024 programme – and if you cant wait that long, check out the  3E Podcast

Check out our support and activities including our VISA update and hope that we catch up in the new year – have a good break!

Call for input! Supporting Inclusive Entrepreneurship – Neurodiversity & Entrepreneurship Education

Written by Rob Edwards

Following a lively and well-attended session at IEEC2023, Dr Lorna Treanor & Rob Edwards are calling for examples of good practice, the teaching and learning resources that have worked for you and the useful techniques that have benefitted your neurodivergent students.

In this way, they hope to assist in the development of a suite of good practice resources to benefit colleagues and catalyse the delivery of effective, inclusive enterprise education for ND, and indeed all, students.

See the outputs from the session and the call for further participation here.

The Ripple Effects of Encouraging More Diverse Members to Join Boards and Committee Groups

Written by Rifhat Qureshi

In September 2019, I attended my first International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference (IEEC) at Oxford Brookes. For three days, I was able to listen to keynote speeches, Pecha Kucha presentations and inspirational experts on my favourite topic: entrepreneurship. I was hugely inspired by the event as I learnt of the original approaches and new research in the area of entrepreneurship. Connecting with like-minded people who were equally as passionate about entrepreneurship as me and sharing good food was an absolute pleasure.

During the pandemic, the conference moved online but in 2022, the IEEC was held in person at Swansea University. Again, I walked away with some extremely inspiring and noteworthy developments in Entrepreneurship Education. However, when I reflected on the conferences in the wake of what had taken place between the two years of the pandemic, I felt a sense of disappointment. I began to realise that despite entrepreneurship being a universal topic, there was very limited representation of ethnic minorities at these conferences. I began wondering what could be done to change this when an email arrived in my inbox from EEUK Director Steve Aicheler (Cardiff Met) asking if I would like to join EEUK’s Nominations and Representation Committee. Being someone who believes that change only happens through collaboration and action, I jumped at the opportunity to join.

In our first meeting, I felt unsure if there was anything I could add to the committee as all the members had great ideas on how to drive the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda forward but by the second meeting, I could see there was work that still needed to be done. In the run up to our second meeting, an email had gone to members requesting nominations for board members and I wanted to find out if any of the applications had come from ethnic minority members. As NARC Chair and EEUK Vice President Megan Powell Vreeswijk commented, ‘The data was not there and as a committee, we realised it needed to exist for us to drive change. So, this is the first year that EEUK are actively collecting our additional EDI data to help ensure we are all represented, and that the organisation can become one that truly reflects its members’.

Having Steve encourage me to join the NARC committee gave me confidence and assurance to join other committees and boards. As I look forward to attending my third in-person IEEC at the University of Surrey, and my continued work with the Nominations and Representation Committee, I feel hopeful.  The ripple effect of positively encouraging more diverse members to join management boards and senior level groups will in time result in EEUK becoming as diverse in nature as entrepreneurship is.

The Nominations and Representation Committee is a sub-committee of the EEUK Board of Directors to which it reports and is accountable. Volunteering to monitor equality, diversity and inclusion across the organisation and its activities, ensuring the organisation is representative of its membership and recommending appropriate controls to the Board and ensuring that the Committee’s activities support the strategic and operational objectives of EEUK. The Committee is currently recruiting for new members – please visit for more information.

Applications to become an EEUK board director are now welcomed from staff at EEUK member organisations. Deadline 16th June 2023. If you would like to put yourself forward, please complete the online nomination form. Terms of Reference for Ordinary Directors can also be found on this page. Or alternatively, please click here to download a word version for completion. Please return to, together with a letter of support from your line manager.

If you wish to propose someone from another member organisation, please contact that person and arrange for the form to be completed.

Please check whether there is already a board member at your organisation by clicking here but bear in mind that their terms may be ending this year.

The deadline for completed nomination forms is 11.59pm on 16 June 2023.

Please note that our constitution states that there should be no more than one board member from any one member organisation on the board at any one time. If there are two candidates from the same university, the one with the highest count goes forward.

Discovering passionate social entrepreneurs – pre-start-up detective work?!

Written by Inge Hill

Have you recently thought about how to increase student engagement with having students across the UK and abroad? Working now for The Open University (OU), I am learning from my amazing academic colleagues and those in enterprise support what the expert institution of online and distance learning has put in place.

I did not know that several well-designed online courses are freely accessible to all and everyone – in the world! For example,

  • Learning about turning ideas into reality in a 24-hours-course in your own time, also earning an accredited CPD badge, or
  • An Introduction to ‘invention and innovation

Working in the Business School Department for Public Leadership and Social Enterprise, my commitment and passion to mainstream learning about social enterprise meets plenty of like-minded academic colleagues, including an active social entrepreneur.

But not only there, the OU’s mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas also materialises in its annual competition, the Open Business Creators Fund, which is open to OU students across the UK. This competition regularly sees ideas for social enterprises rise to the top. I am delighted to judge submissions both for start-up funding and those companies running for at least a year already this summer.

Alumni Emma Prince founded this award-winning CIC, and won her first funding with this competition ( in 2018. I cannot wait to be a detective uncovering the next amazing (social) entrepreneurs!

Here are my three tips based on insights on social enterprise support gained in having supported many start-ups when running my own strategy and research consultancy in the past and via EEUK:

Assess that the passion and commitment to making a difference is at the core of what the individual / team is focusing on!

There have been always some start-ups / people feeling they can gain utmost profits for themselves and not the community under the banner ‘social enterprise’.

Identify if the team/individual has indeed found a social problem and articulates it clearly!

Sometimes, founders have an idea and run with it without identifying for whom and how many the supposed social issue is indeed an issue – have they run the idea of a social problem by those affected and those dealing with it? And – have they done sufficient industry and market research?

Explore if the team/individual have or intend to validate the solution with beneficiaries or buyers and have the resilience to try out other solutions.

Building on the insights gained under tip 2, I have seen an idea for a social enterprise ‘dissolve’ when the founder was starting to trade and only then realised that his solution was not appreciated that much by the beneficiaries nor the customers.

I remember an environmental consultancy start-up I supported funded by an ERDF programme, and the founder had jumped with both legs into starting the consultancy aimed at social enterprise when I met him. He only learnt after having spent several thousand pounds and hundreds of hours that the intended customers did not like the approach taken! He had not discussed the solution nor the problem sufficiently with others, in particular the target customers outside of his circle of friends!

Dr Inge Hill
The Open University
Director, Enterprise Educators UK

Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash

Remember ‘social enterprises’?

Written by Inge Hill

Social enterprises do not yet feature centrally in our enterprise and entrepreneurship education. Do you wonder why, as I do? In a nutshell, social enterprises are businesses that make profits but have defined in their constitution how the profits will be used for defined beneficiaries, with directors not being in a position to take all profits. The CIC (community interest company as legal form) allows directors to take a small share of the profits.

My inspiration for the interest in social enterprise comes from having met founders in 2001 and 2002 and research participants. In my first research project on start-ups, I came across a creative start-up in Birmingham in her late 20s who had founded a social enterprise, including a community cafe, offered an exhibition space to local artists. She expressed her frustration that her university education had not told her about what a social enterprise is.

Inspired by this comment, (Hill, 2016), I was the first to outline in every chapter in my start-up practice based guide on new venture creation what is different when starting a social enterprise. Having had the ‘social enterprise bug’ in the early noughties, when running my business I invested into the SFEDI accreditation for social enterprise support in 2009. For four years I then worked as an adviser for ERDF-funded programmes and directly with clients.

Today, there is still the opportunity to make supporting social enterprises a profession with a qualification in the UK.

As a passionate educator for and through enterprise, and in times of financial hardships and limited funds, starting a social enterprise is an option more than ever before. We have many external conditions such as

  • Post COVID-19,
  • Post-Brexit,
  • Fuel and energy price increases,
  • Cost of living increases,
  • Wars and natural crisis

that require different ways of thinking and doing business – to benefit communities, for example, and to benefit the planet and support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (UN, 2015).

Catalyst2030 is a social enterprise that has members from across the world – and most members are young people who started social enterprises, and educators like me, passionate to make a difference with enterprise focusing on having a social impact first and foremost. I am a proud member, we develop tools and help for

  • businesses to manufacture and deliver more sustainably and
  • educators to help others to understand the SDG’s better and deliver on the targets – for the benefits of us all.

Join in and contact me to learn more about social enterprise education and/or education for the SDGs!

Remember, we welcome proposals for workshops, sessions and Pecha Kuchas at the IEEC conference that focus on the SDGs and enterprise education. Please look out for the call for sessions next month.

Dr Inge Hill

Director, Enterprise Educators UK

Image: Nathan Lemon,

The Cost of Living Crisis: Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Written by Dave Bolton

In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the rising cost of living and its impact on people’s lives. This crisis has affected people from all walks of life, and has created a number of challenges for families, individuals, and businesses.

However, amidst these challenges, there are also opportunities for entrepreneurs to address the cost of living crisis and create innovative solutions that can help people save money and improve their quality of life.

A row of houses with a rainbow in the sky above them
One of the biggest challenges posed by the cost of living crisis is the rising cost of housing. Housing costs have gone up dramatically in many cities, making it difficult for people to afford a place to live. Entrepreneurs who can come up with innovative solutions to make housing more affordable will be in high demand. For example, entrepreneurs can explore alternative housing options, such as co-living spaces, or they can create new financing models that make it easier for people to purchase a home.

Another area where entrepreneurs can make a difference is in the food industry. The cost of food has also gone up significantly in recent years, making it difficult for people to afford healthy and nutritious food. Entrepreneurs who can create more affordable and sustainable food options will be in high demand. This can be done by creating new supply chains, developing new technologies for food production, or creating new business models that reduce waste and increase efficiency.

Rows of fresh vegetables on a market standIn addition to housing and food, entrepreneurs can also address the cost of living crisis in other areas, such as transportation and healthcare. The cost of transportation has gone up as well, making it difficult for people to afford the necessary modes of transportation to get to work, school, or other important places. Entrepreneurs can create new technologies and business models that make transportation more affordable and accessible. Similarly, the cost of healthcare has gone up, making it difficult for people to access necessary medical services. Entrepreneurs can create new solutions that make healthcare more affordable and accessible, such as telemedicine or alternative health clinics, such as homeopathy, reiki etc.

The cost of living crisis presents a number of challenges for people, families, and businesses. However, amidst these challenges, there are also opportunities for entrepreneurs to address the crisis and create innovative solutions that can help people save money and improve their quality of life. Whether it’s in the housing, food, transportation, or healthcare sectors, entrepreneurs who can find creative ways to address the cost of living crisis will be in high demand, and they will have the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives.

Photo by Victoria Feliniak on Unsplash

Photo by Ashley Winkler on Unsplash

Pillars for Success

Written by Alison Price

With the Government being criticised in 2022 for not stating a vision for universities or outlining a clear path to post-Covid/Brexit recovery, the Chancellor made a speech (Jan 23) which outlined his 4 pillars of economic growth. Each of these falls within EEUK’s remit as we work to support the development of entrepreneurial outcomes in others, whether for work, start-up, regional, national, or international.

With a vision looking to Silicon Valley for Enterprise, and Finland or Singapore for education and skills, the Chancellor seeks to tap into individual potential to unlock the UK, creating an enterprise culture built on low taxes, reward for risk, access to capital and smarter regulation. This may be the coming of age of the UK’s person-based, experiential and transformative models of EntEd where HE & FE helps deliver on the UK-wide vision of “everywhere”.

To support this ambition of “everywhere” members to ensure that “Enterprise is for All”, we are currently seeking your insights and advice for ensuring your approach is fully inclusive to all learners, including the neurodiverse. In drafting a new EEUK Way Guide, we are seeking your insight and practices, so please share directly or if you want to find out more to develop your own work, there is a new OECD report Equity and Inclusion in Education: Finding Strength through Diversity out now!

In sector news, Advance HE has reviewed its professional standards framework, seeking views from the sector to launch a data-led, evidence-based revision of its work.  Working within a familiar structure, the new standards focus more on collaborative practice, include digital technologies, and look at the opportunity to understand and do more of the right things, through effectiveness and impact.

In start-up news: last month, we mentioned new partners supporting startup, such as Ebay side hustle workshops, which also sees new funding opportunities such as that from TV Dragon Steven Bartlett and, as ever, lack of visa clarity confuses our ability to provide great HE support to our international would-be starts.

So whether the Chancellor’s vision aligns with the potential visa changes that @WonkHE are describing is unclear, but EEUK is keeping up its ‘visa watch’ and joins the sector in seeking long term clarity for our students.  We will also be following the new arrangements for the Office for Students (OFS) to take up QAA’s former responsibilities to understand what that means for us, if anything, as we work to promote the EEUK policy guide (QAA 2018) across our institutions.

Photo by Ian Hutchinson on Unsplash

What the creative industries can show us about enterprise & entrepreneurship education

Written by Marcus O'Dair

Happy New Year, everyone. Marcus here, an Associate Dean of Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise at University of the Arts London. Since a university offering courses in art, design, fashion, media and performance is perhaps a slightly unusual home for an EEUK Director, I thought I’d use this opportunity to say a few words about creative enterprise and entrepreneurship education.

In one sense, of course, all entrepreneurship is creative, in the sense that it is both novel and useful. I’m talking, though, about entrepreneurship in the cultural and creative economy. For this blog, at least, I’m including freelancing and self-employment under that umbrella.

This might come as a surprise if you think of artists in Romantic terms as people living in garrets but, by some measures, UAL leads the UK higher education sector in producing entrepreneurs. This has something to do with the fact that self-employment accounts for 32% of creative industry employment in the UK, compared to 16% in the economy as a whole.

It is incumbent upon us, then, to give our students the skills and knowledge they need to start and run successful businesses, even if that success is defined in terms that go beyond the narrowly financial. At UAL, I’ve been involved in projects including the £900,000 StART Entrepreneurship programme, in setting up incubation for graduates and in supporting local creative businesses. There are numerous other initiatives across UAL and the entire sector.

If you work in a business school, you might be wondering what all this has to do with you. The answer is that I have always wondered if we, in art schools and arts and creative industries faculties, come at enterprise education in an unusual way. If so, I have wondered whether our approach could be of interest to the wider enterprise education community – especially given the prevalence of so-called ‘design thinking’ in enterprise and entrepreneurship education. A couple of years ago, for instance, I received EEUK funding to conduct a small project in which some of our design students reworked the business model canvas. You can see some of their alternative canvases here. Anyway, if you’re interested, please get in touch.