Nesta’s best books on innovation

‘8 of the best books on innovation’

To mark World Book Day, Nesta created a list of 8 of their favourite innovation reads.

Take a look at the full list on Nesta’s blog.

Do you have any favourite enterprise reads?



UnLtd Awards

Awards to help start and grow your social enterprise

UnLtd offer support for enterprises with a social or environmental aim at the core of what they do. They have two types of awards available at present, for which expression’s of interest close on the 27th March 2018. Although this deadline is soon, award cycles run three times throughout the year, so good to keep in mind for future too!

Do It Awards

For those who want to create social change and would like to start working on an idea. Award includes 1-to-1 support, expert advice and access to resources including some funding.

Grow It Awards

For those who have identified a social issue and are committed to tackling it and have experience relevant to grow a venture. Award includes support to grow your venture and up to £15,000 funding.

For more information on UnLtd awards, visit their website.


Thrive: A Social Accelerator

‘Help your venture to Thrive’

Thrive is a new social accelerator run by UnLtd, aiming to help ambitious social ventures to scale. The programme will include six months of intensive support along with an opportunity to secure up to £50,000 for your venture.

20 social ventures will be supported each year and for their first cohort they are looking specifically for ventures which are working to improve access to employment for those distant from the labour market.

If you would like to find out more about the accelerator or are interested in applying, Cathryn Chrimes from UnLtd will be coming in on Thursday the 15th of March to talk to potential applicants. This information session will take place from 12-2pm in Learning Zone Pod 4. You can also read more about the accelerator online. 

Week 19 Enterprise Events

Get Involved

Tuesday 13th

Share It Lab with Dan Ghita, 2-3pm, Learning Zone Pod 4

Dan Ghita is a current Management student, developing a new business based around cycling holidays in Eastern Europe.

Dan will be joining us for a session to share his personal entrepreneurial story, talk about the power of storytelling, importance of not following the crowd and how to generate business ideas.

Come along to find inspiration and advice for your own venture and ask Dan any questions.

Book on Target Connect

Wednesday 14th

Art, Film, LICA Alumni Event, 12-2pm, Bowland North SR 6

Interested in freelancing in the Arts after graduation? Join this panel event for LICA students – come and listen to Lancaster University graduates of Art, Design and LICA subjects talk about their jobs and the routes they took to get their dream job. Find out more about working in the arts, media, freelance work and portfolio working.

Book on Target Connect

Design Thinking Sprint – From Inspiration to Ideation, 2-5pm, Bowland North SR 7

This is the second of three design sprints. In this session you will work on design challenges focusing on two aspects of the process:

Inspiration – looking at research methods that are used in Design Thinking to unpack a problem space.

Ideation – looking at techniques that are used to visualize, brainstorm and evaluate ideas in order to reach a viable choice.

Don’t worry about having attended the last session – each session can be attended as a stand-alone as well.

Book on Target Connect

Thursday 15th

UnLtd – Thrive accelerator information session for social enterprises, 12-2pm, Learning Zone Pod 4

Thrive is a new social accelerator run by UnLtd, aimed at supporting ambitious social ventures to scale. For their first cohort, Thrive are looking for ventures with the aim of improving access to employment for those distant from the labour market.

Cathryn Chrimes from UnLtd will be coming in to potential applicants, so if you would be interested in finding out please come along.

Book on Target Connect

Digital Lancaster – Lightning Talks and Social

Get plugged into Lancaster’s Digital network

Digital Lancaster are hosting a free networking event on Thursday 29th of March at The Borough on Dalton Square, to talk all-things digital and help bring like-minded people together. Digital Lancaster are part of Digital Lancashire, a not-for-profit community interest company aiming to accelerate the growth of the digital economy within Lancashire. This is a great opportunity for any budding digital entrepreneurs in the city!

You can register your attendance through Eventbrite.

Design Thinking Sprints

Do you want to become more employable by demonstrating you have experience applying 21st century skills?

Are you an entrepreneur – or an entrepreneur in the making- who wants to develop a business idea?

Join our Design Thinking Sprints this March and gain experience of applying Design Thinking to a real project.

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is an approach to innovation that is sought after by employers and invaluable for entrepreneurs. It transforms the way you approach the world when imagining and creating new solutions for the future, based on empathy, collaboration and experimentation. These 21st century skills will help you futureproof your career or be a more innovative and systematic entrepreneur.  In this workshop you will learn the fundamentals of Design Thinking and gain hands-on experience of applying Design Thinking on real world problems. This session contributes towards the Enterprise Centre Commercial awareness certification as well as the Lancaster Award.

First Session

Session 1. Design Thinking Sprint – The Design Thinking process / Shaping a useful challenge

Time: Wednesday the 7th of March at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: County South Lecture Theatre (LT A70)

In the first session we will go through a quick design cycle to get you familiarised with Design Thinking and shape a challenge to focus on in rest of the sessions. Don’t worry if you don’t have an idea or if you are uncertain about joining future sessions. This session can be attended as a stand-alone as well.

Book a place on this session through Target Connect. 

Future sessions:

Session 2. Design thinking Sprint – From Inspiration to Ideation

Time: Wednesday the 14th of March at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: Bowland North SR 07


Session 3. Prototyping

Time: Wednesday the 21st of March at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: Bowland North SR 07

To find out a bit more about what Design Thinking is all about, read our account from our last introductory workshop here. Please also feel free to email the Enterprise Team for further details.


Trading for Good report on Social Enterprise

The Impact of Social Enterprises

The Trading for Good report, commissioned by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales looks to provide a greater understanding into the impact which small and medium social enterprises are having on communities, in order to encourage more to be done to support them. The results reflect the diversity in their leadership and also the good they are doing for some of the poorest communities.

To read the report and some of the stand-out findings visit the Social Enterprise UK’s blog. 

Introduction to Design Thinking: 31st January

On the 31st of January 2018, 13 students from a range of disciplines and areas of study gathered in a room in the FASS building for an exciting session, led by Amanda Brooks of the Enterprise Team. Inspired by her trip to Stanford University’s and the Crash-course in Design Thinking hosted by Humera Fasihuddin from the last year, Amanda was excited to lead her own Design Thinking session. The aim of the session was to help students try out a human-centred design approach to problem-solving, whilst developing their 21st century skills – creativity, innovation, collaboration and communication.

Human-centred design is a creative approach to problem solving. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions, tailor-made to suit their needs. It involves a five step process – the students worked through each stage to design a wallet for a member of another team.


1. Empathize. The process begins with empathy – understanding what the customer’s needs are. This was done through interviewing the customer, first on a broad level and then digging deeper to fully understand their requirements.




2. Define. This stages involves making sense of what was learnt from the interview and identifying opportunities for design. Teams identified the goals and wishes of the customer and then worked to re-frame the problem into a point-of-view statement.


3. Ideate. This stage involved many a post-it notes and free flow of ideas relating to the design of the wallet. Following the free flow of all kinds of ideas, teams sketched out a few potential solutions.



4. Prototype. This stage began by presenting initial designs to the customer for feedback. Then, armed with tinfoil, card, pipe cleaners, glue etc., the teams set about creating a prototype solution.


5. Test. Time to present the prototype to the customer and take on their feedback, has it met their needs?

Design Thinking 3


Overall, the session was very well received, some of the elements people expressed that they really enjoyed included:

“Engaging with people who share similar attitudes but have different methods of approach to ideas”

“Working with people from different backgrounds”

“Exercising creativity”

“The group discussion vibe”

“Working through a process with an end goal “

“The flow and ease of the process”

To see all of the photos, please visit our Facebook page. 

To find out more about Human Centred Design, check out this short video on IDEO’s website which gives a great overview.  The Enterprise Team are will be hosting more sessions like this in the future – so keep your eyes on our website, social media and newsletter!

T1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Information Session

Are you an international student looking to start a business in the UK after graduation?

In order to start a business in the UK following graduation you will need to hold a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa.

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to 12 months to establish and develop a business. This can then be extended for up to 12 months, provided satisfactory progress is being made.

Lancaster University is able to endorse a limited number of new T1 Visa applications each year from students interested in this career path. Each applicant is required to submit a strong business plan, outlining how the proposed business idea will operate in the UK. The Enterprise Team are able to support you in the production of this business plan.

It you would like to know more about the scheme, including details on the process, requirements and top tips for making a successful application – The Enterprise Team and International Registry team will be hosting an information session next week, please come along to find out more and ask any questions.

When? Tuesday 20th February 1:30-2:30pm

Where? Learning Zone Pod 4

Let us know you will be attending by booking through Target Connect.

You can read more about the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme here.

Open discussion with entrepreneur Kelly Anne Sharp

Expert voice tips and business start-up advice

This week’s entrepreneur in residence is Kelly Anne Sharp, founder of Voice Work. Kelly Anne will be coming in on Thursday (8th Feb) to answer your questions!

Kelly Anne is a voice and speech coach, empowering people to improve the quality of their speaking voices for presenting on stage/in a boardroom, use their voice more effectively and deliver confidence to the individual and results for organisations. She works with a range of clients from businesses to individuals, educators and singing students. She has for example, worked with directors to help them become more effective leaders.

Not only will Kelly Anne have lots of expert tips to share in relation to using your voice more effectively to make a positive impression, having started her own business, she will also have start-up tips for any budding entrepreneurs.

When? Thursday 8th February, 1-2:30pm

Where? Learning Zone Pod 4

If you would be interested in attending the session, please sign-up via Target Connect