Written by Lynn O'Byrne

Durham: New National Social Enterprise Competition for Students & Graduates

Durham University has partnered with the Ford Family Foundation to launch Ignite, a new funding competition supporting social enterprises emerging from higher education. Ignite aims to shine a spotlight on our tremendous social entrepreneurs and will culminate in a pitching event at The Shard in October. The winner will receive a £20,000 grant, with a further £30,000 shared between four other contenders. In addition to funding, prizes also include 1:1 coaching from Cambio Consultancy and I.P. support from Mathys & Squire. Deadline for entries is 19th July via the Ignite website.

Edinburgh: Grow Awards

The University of Edinburgh celebrates its student entrepreneurs with the annual Inspire, Launch, Grow Awards. During Inspire, Launch Grow, founders pitch their company to an expert panel of judges, competing for a total prize money of £47,000. This year’s keynote speaker and winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award was Elena Höge, founder of social gaming company Yaldi Games.At the Inspire Launch Grow – the ‘Oscars of Entrepreneurship’ Professor Sir Peter Mathieson said: We are proud to support a thriving culture of entrepreneurship at the University of Edinburgh, where enterprise is increasingly part of the student experience.

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU): Freelancer Fast-Start Programme

In May, ARU ran an intensive “Freelancer Fast-Start Programme”, supporting 25 final-year students to become “invoice-ready”. Curated to support mindset, skills and ecosystem, the programme covered everything from marketing & brand to legal & tax, and sales and negotiation. There was a focus on real-world application and professional networks to advance the participants’ freelance ventures. The programme culminated in a showcase event and prize giving, with 92% rating the programme highly; 68% intending to register a business within six months, and 36% already engaging potential clients. Participants’ self-rated scores on freelancing knowledge and confidence increased significantly after completing the programme.

Huddersfield: Entrepreneurs: Talent, Temperament, Opportunity and Mindset
The 4th Edition of John Thompson’s textbook, written with the late Bill Bolton – Entrepreneurs: Talent, Temperament, Opportunity and Mindset – has recently been published by Routledge. It is in three parts. The first part dissects the attributes of successful entrepreneurs and allows readers to self-assess, using the authors’ established FACETS framework, and then discusses what is meant by an entrepreneurial mindset – the main addition to this new edition. Part Two concerns the process of entrepreneurship, encompassing starting a business, opportunity and strategy. Part Three comprises over 100 case vignettes separated into “classic”, business, social and culture entrepreneurs (in design, art, music, media and sport) before a final chapter on “entrepreneurs in the shadows” includes some whose business is crime.

Nottingham: YES24

Applications are open for our 29th cohort! Your Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) is a competition developed to raise awareness among PhD students, postdocs and technicians how ideas can be commercialised. Taking place this autumn, participants are invited to develop a hypothetical business and pitch their plan to demonstrate that the business could be investable and ultimately successful. This fictional business plan is a great way to learn about entrepreneurship without using an idea that comes out of current research (avoiding any problems with disclosure). Our pitch day hosts are GSK, Syngenta and Campden BRI. Bursaries available. Discover more here; join one of our 30-minute online information sessions or help raise awareness.

Lincoln: Creative Start-up Awards
Oliver Whitehead, founder of Synx Games, has won the Creative Start-Up Award for the Midlands in the Start-Up Awards.As a second-year Computer Science student at the University of Lincoln, Oliver balances his studies with the running of Synx Games, a company that creates servers and content for games such as Roblox and Minecraft.Synx has blossomed in the last year, reaching 100,000 unique players across 2 servers, 15,000 members on their Discord communities with over 4 million unique messages.Oliver has been supported by Student Enterprise, as well as taking up an office at the University’s incubation centre, Sparkhouse.