Nurturing and encouraging enterprise and entrepreneurship is a core element of our educational provision which not only provides our students and graduates with the necessary skill set to establish successful and resilient new business ventures, but also makes a valuable contribution to regional economic growth.
The MEU has launched the MEU Enterprise Network which brings together key figures from our universities and business, allowing them to network, share their expertise and perspectives. The MEU Enterprise Network is a practical way of harnessing the talent being developed in the partnership that is Midlands Enterprise Universities and strengthening research and development.
Events are coordinated through the Network to encourage Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. At each event different creative businesses impart some of their wisdom, share their creative journey and inspire.
A celebration marking the end of the current BSEEN enterprise start-up programme with the mentors and companies they have helped support.
The BSEEN initiative offers students and graduates a package of intensive start-up support through workshops, networking opportunities, tailored mentoring, grants and workspace. The programme comes to a close in December 2020 and the event will showcase the outstanding achievements of the businesses started and supported by the project since 2016.
Nottingham Trent University (NTU) hosted the Santander Universities Enterprise Showcase on 14th November 2019 to celebrate the 18 month-long Spark project, which supported students and recent graduates to develop entrepreneurial skills and set up their own business.
The exciting project inspired and motivated students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to increase their own entrepreneurial aspirations and consider entrepreneurship as a viable career option, assisting them to take their ideas from a spark moment and develop them into successful enterprises.
Mentors from The Hive spoke of how the project came to life, with a Spark Expo, and the importance of enterprise and entrepreneurship at NTU. The team saw a 400% over-achievement of the engagement targets on the project. Students and graduates involved gave inspirational talks on their own “spark moments” on their entrepreneurial journey. One such student, Georgina Fairhall, praised the support she was given with her enterprising idea to create WAC App, which tracks the hours of work and pay for workers on various temporary contracts.
The Santander Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Fund was originally given to NTU along with 14 other institutions across the UK. The grant was launched to celebrate Santander Universities’ 10th Anniversary in the UK, and was created to enable universities to develop ambitious projects that delivered real economic, social and employment benefits.
On 22nd March 2019, Coventry University Social Enterprise CIC (CUSE) hosted the Enterprise Showcase “Growing the Social Economy: Enterprise with a purpose”, illustrating why social enterprise and innovation is thriving in Coventry. Guests had an opportunity to meet social entrepreneurs and their mentors from CUSE and be inspired to find ways to benefit the local community.
Social Enterprises at the event included Spiked Dough, and an African jewellery enterprise set up by Pavani Konda. Pavani spoke at the event about how CUSE had supported the start-up of her social enterprise, which enabled unemployed African women to create and sell handmade jewellery within the UK. The social impact of the enterprise was to empower women, alleviate poverty and provide career pathways.
Keith Jeffery, Managing Director & CUSE Manager, spoke about the work of CUSE which is recognised as a market leader in incubating social enterprises. Their work with the local community, university staff and students, helps people realise their entrepreneurial potential and to deliver measurable social impacts. Since 2014, they have helped create more than 50 social enterprises spanning multiple industries and sectors including child protection, food and leisure, volunteering, cleaning services and many, many more.
At the event, students, graduates and businesses were given space to connect and collaborate, and joined together on a social media platform to skill share, and discuss enterprise opportunities.
The University of Derby hosted the second Enterprise Showcase Event, a series of events designed for creatives, entrepreneurs, and business owners connected to Midlands Enterprise Universities.
Once again, delegates were given the opportunity to find out about Enterprise Support in the Midlands, in relation to the award winning Be the Boss scheme run by the University of Derby. The programme has helped more than 100 people develop a business idea into a working business.
At the Event, creative businesses imparted some of their wisdom, shared their creative journey and inspired others to develop their ideas. The event gave space to connect, collaborate and learn together.
The University of Wolverhampton’s Enterprise team held a special celebration of another successful year of enterprise support for students, graduates and small businesses on Thursday, 28 June 2018. #MEU2018 was attended by businesses assisted by the Enterprise Action project, which is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the University of Wolverhampton.
Businesses included a video production company, a children’s author, cake and doughnut makers and other innovative companies. The main event was hosted by the Google Digital Garage Team based in Birmingham. Google Digital Garage are leaders in teaching entrepreneurs to create business strategies, get involved with digital marketing, marketing channels and in creating digital marketing plans.
Students, graduates, academics, and businesses were given space to connect, forge relationships, collaborate, skill share, and discuss all things entrepreneurship, business, and beyond.