Lancaster University

Lancaster University delivers entrepreneurial learning and development opportunities, including start-up and sustainable business innovation support, as part of its offer to students, alumni, staff and members of the local community.  These services are delivered by a dedicated enterprise team, operating as Work in Progress, through a creative studio and co-working space in the centre of the University campus, as well as remotely where appropriate.

The core aim of the service is to ensure that every Lancaster student is able to access and benefit from the value that enterprise education adds to their higher education experience, through participation in a wide range of programmes, activities and opportunities.  These include:

  • Hackathons, challenges and competitions aimed at identifying and mobilising local solutions to global problems, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, through which students develop creative-problem solving capabilities and human-centred design mindsets.
  • Virtual incubation for aspiring pre-start founders seeking to validate the business cases and business models for their start-up ideas and community innovation projects, and through this, maximising opportunities for IP commercialisation, and encouraging and supporting international graduate to secure Start-up and Innovator Visas.
  • Workshops, masterclasses and wider community networking events for business leaders seeking to evolve their business models, develop new products and services, and pursue plans for sustainable growth.
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset development interventions for students participating in industrial and community engagement activities, for example, placements, internships and company projects, in order to maximise their capabilities and value as agents of knowledge exchange, and boost their post-graduate employability.

All of the programming decisions and learning outcomes are informed by the European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (EntreComp) and Work in Progress has developed an in-house self-assessment tool based on this framework in order to better quantify development needs and personal growth resulting from participation.

Organisationally, Work in Progress is situated within Research & Enterprise Services, one of the University’s professional services divisions, in order to ensure that it is accessible as possible to learners and customers from any department or faculty, and to facilitate integration into the wider business support opportunities on offer from across the institution.  The service is predominantly resourced through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF), although additional funding for start-up projects is provided via a partnership with Santander Universities.

Main contact: Simon Harrison

Enterprise Programme Manager, Work in Progress