Learn from an experienced financial director

Meet an Entrepreneur in Residence

This week’s Entrepreneur in Residence is Sue Anderson of Pendle doors who with her husband has worked to build a successful manufacturing business. We have a number meeting slots available to meet with Sue on Wednesday, please email enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk  to book.

Sue Anderson (Financial Director of Pendle Doors)

Wednesday 6th December

Pendle Doors are a family business and one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of British made modern and contemporary high quality internal and external timber doors, doorsets, secured by design entrance systems, glazed screens and purpose made joinery to  the construction industry, including the Education, Healthcare, Residential and Leisure sectors.

Sue initially joined the business which was set up by her husband Steve on a part-time basis doing the accounts, as the business grew substantially this became a more hands-on full time role. The firm has enjoyed enormous growth and success through the hard work and dedication of Sue and the entire workforce and has built a reputation based on reliability and service.

 

Run your idea past an entrepreneur

Meet an Entrepreneur in Residence

We have meeting slots available with four Entrepreneurs in Residence over the coming two weeks, they come from a variety of sectors with a wide range of experience and advice to impart to budding entrepreneurs. Below are the profiles of each – if you would be interested in meeting any of them, please email enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk

Ruth Power (Director of Business Development at Financial Management Bureau)

Wednesday 22nd November

Ruth is on the board of a financial services SME in Cumbria, employing over 35 staff servicing over 2000 clients with financial planning and advice. Her role involves developing enhanced service strategies, communicating with potential new customers, looking after the needs of existing customers and managing internal communications. Ruth has had the benefit of a complete career change which has given her experience in both the public and private sector, education and management and now marketing.

 

Jane Dalton (Director of Groundswell Innovation)

Friday 24th November

Jane Dalton has managed brand strategy and innovation projects for companies with global brand reach for the past 17 years – from Unilever global brand teams through to banks and service brands across Europe . Cross-cultural customer understanding and creative problem solving in highly regulated markets are particular strengths. Her skills sets comprises of strategic brand planning and brand positioning, the commercialisation of intellectual property, innovation management, new product/service development and qualitative market research

 

Glyn Jones (Business Partnership Manager, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University)

Friday 24th November

Glyn Jones is the Health Business Partnership Manager in the Health Engagement and Innovation Team at Lancaster University’s Faculty of Health and Medicine. Glyn’s role involves supporting the creation and growth of health and social care focused SMEs by providing mentoring, signposting, procurement advice, workshops, student projects and access to clinical staff, patients, carers and evaluation resources. He also volunteers as a primary school governor and a Trustee of a local youth project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Cox (Managing Director of George Cox & Sons)

Thursday 30th November

George Cox & Sons is an award-winning £15m per annum turnover business specialising in high-quality highway and footway projects. Chris has been Managing Director of the company for 20 years.The company employs 100 staff out of three offices within the North West of England, has it’s own in-house apprenticeship and mentoring programme, and was one of the early pioneers of the ‘Investors in People’ within its sector and it’s own employees lead the company Community charity.

Learn from experienced International Entrepreneurs!

We are excited to have two US based entrepreneurs – Bill Lewis and Renwick Brutus coming to Lancaster to share their experience and expertise with budding Lancaster entrepreneurs. Take a look below at their profiles and email the Enterprise Team to book a place on either (or both!) of the sessions. Both sessions will take place in Learning Zone Pod 4.

Bill Lewis (Advisor to the Board – Temasys Communications)

Talk and Q&A – Tuesday 14th November, 11am-1pm

‘Things I wished I had known when I was 20’

Bill Lewis, Lancaster alumnus, former international corporate director, serial entrepreneur, author and speaker will be sharing his worldly lessons including both successes and failures. Being threatened with murder by the head of a Caribbean Drug Cartel and being bombed out of Beirut, Bill has seen more than most in this life time. His wisdom and relaxed style will help to inspire you to do great things, avoid many mistakes, and live a life of health, wealth, joy and recognition.

 

Renwick Brutus (Founder & CEO of Achievement Resources & UDECOM LLC)

Thursday 16th November, 10am-12pm

Renwick believes in the power of the possible. His uncanny ability to identify issues, extrapolate solutions, project the positive, and prioritise the path to success informs his every moment – personally, in business and as a community leader. Renwick grew up in rural Guyana and experienced a powerful mix of adversity and accomplishment. He later moved to the US to study for an MBA and went on to work on Wall Street, where he was recognised numerous times for outstanding achievement in the financial and investment services industry. Now based in Michigan, Renwick owns three companies, consults with an impressive list of clients, is in demand as a motivational speaker and is writing a book.

 

What’s new for 17-18?

If you’ve engaged in Enterprise & Innovation support through us previously, you are probably wondering what’s happened to the Wednesday IdeasLab and Thursday StartupLab sessions.

We found that so many people were bringing new ideas, having just a couple of fixed-time drop-in sessions per week wasn’t giving everyone enough time and space to get the attention they needed

So, this year we’re opening up more slots and letting you call the shots on when they should happen.  We’re still calling them Labs, but there are now lots of different Lab types to choose from.

How does it work?

The idea is simple – we’ll help you put together a personalised development programme and you work through it at your own pace. Whenever you’re ready to work on something new, you book a Lab session and we’ll supply the space, the know-how, the resources, and, where appropriate, bring in like-minded collaborators.

To make this work though, there are a couple of other things that have changed.

  • Firstly, before you start ‘dropping in’, we’ll ask you to register or re-register by completing a short Registration Form so we can get you into the system.
  • Secondly, we’ll book you in for a 1-2-1 chat (called an IntroLab) so we can find out more about you, what you are trying to achieve and what you are looking for right now.
  • Thirdly, we’ll get you underway so you can start putting together your bespoke development programme from our new menu of different Lab types. Regardless of what you are working on or where you are up to, there’ll be something for you.

To get started right away, please complete the Registration Form.

To find out more about Labs, please visit this page.

GUEST BLOG: How to price your art

Inés Gregori Labarta is a PhD  student in the Department of English & Creative Language, and an avid doodler and illustrator. Here, she shares what she has learned from working with us at our weekly StartupLab and why she finally feels empowered to put a price on her art.

Original image by Inés Gregori Labarta

As an artist, I find it difficult to put a price on what I produce. First because it’s something intimate, like a part of my body, or a memory. Also, creating equals good mental health for me and it’s, plainly, my source of energy. Creators out there, you know where I’m coming from, right? If suddenly all the papers and pencils in the world were gone and I couldn’t write or doodle, I’d automatically go insane – and start seeing faces in my wall, like the protagonist of The Yellow Wallpaper. On the other side, I’m a terribly perfectionist artist. I haven’t ironed my clothes for years now but let me tell you I get literally sick every time I see the slightest mistake in my piece. Nothing of what I produce resembles the (perfect) ideals I have in my mind.

Because of all this, every time someone asked me how much I charge for an illustration or story I had no idea what to answer. It could be one thousand pounds – considering that I’m selling something unique and original that, in some cases, has taken years to produce. Or I could also give it for free considering it’s not perfect – what’s perfect in life anyways?

Did you have similar thoughts at some point in your artistic career? Art being priceless, way above money and any other mundane nuisances, or not good enough to deserve some cash. To me the turning point was gaining financial independence by working as a content writer in an office. This came with a realisation; work is great because it can give you freedom (unless you have blue blood running through your veins, of course). But you have to like it, or else it may become torture. I hated my work with a passion – the office environment turned me into a caged ferret and being forced to put quantity before quality when performing any tasks made me feel like a fraud. I put up with it, as I still do with many part time jobs, because, well, I need to, but that made me realise that I wanted to make money with something I enjoyed enough to not mind the downsides – and that has to be art.

I find many artists associate genius with poverty and misery – at the end of the day, Vincent Van Gogh never sold but one painting, and Charles Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe died penniless. This may be rooted in your subconcious too – it was rooted in mine, at least – but as the writer Carolyn Elliot explains in this interview, you can change that. Art and money go hand in hand and hey, that doesn’t make your art dirty or less real.

Just put it this way; when you walk into Sainsburys to buy a loaf of bread, do you expect them to give it to you for free? And when you jump on the bus to go to Uni or work, do you get offended when they ask you to pay for the ticket? Do you scream at the bartender when he’s trying to charge you for a pint on a Saturday night? We live in a capitalist society – and if you don’t like it you can always burn all of your money and go to live Thoreau-like as Christopher from Into the Wild. Time is valuable, and a limited resource, so why wouldn’t it have a price? An alternative would be exchanging your goods for other people’s goods – for instance, you could try to pay for a meal with a doodle on a napkin… but realistically it would take lots of time and discussion. Money is, on the other hand, an easy way for people to show appreciation for what you do.

And this takes me back to pricing. Shall you charge all or nothing for your art? Luckily, pricing can be resolved in a logical and easy matter, so next time someone asks you how much you charge for painting or writing you can give a quick answer full of confidence – instead of blushing thinking “oh-how-can-someone-pay-for-this” and mumbling a random number. (Yes I’ve been there too). This article by Amanda Brooks from the Enterprise Centre taught me in about twenty minutes how much should I charge for my art and – more importantly – why that particular number and not another. If you want to honour your artistic gift and make it a way of living, check it out!


If like Inés, you find it difficult to know how much to charge for your work, or if you’re looking to start making money from your creative talents, get in touch.

LU graduate in Forbes top 30 under 30 Europe: Finance

Forbes recently revealed their top 30 under 30 in the Finance industry, with a former Lancaster University student making the list.

Daumantas Dvilinskas (Business Studies, 2007 – 2010) attended one of the Enterprise Team’s very first bootcamp events and was an active student entrepreneur. Now the co-founder of TransferGo, a high-growth digital global money transfer service, Daumantas is well known in the fintech scene.

Other under 30s in the list include young professors, CEO’s of fintech startups and entrepreneurs creating digital financial market places. In years gone by, the top 30 would have included traders, bankers, fund managers and other traditional financial jobs whereas 2017’s list reflects the vast changes within the sector.

Congratulations Daumantas!

The Business Finance Guide – An Invaluable Business Tool

To help you make the right financing decisions for your business…

Put together by the British Business Bank and ICAEW Corporate Finance Faculty, with contributions from 23 bodies, the business finance guide is an invaluable tool for entrepreneurs starting a business or directors managing established, growing companies of all sizes.

The guide provides a comprehensive overview of financing options available to businesses at all different stages of growth. Financing decisions are critical and thus awareness of the choices available is crucial in helping businesses to make well informed decisions.

There is both a print version and an interactive online version available. The interactive version neatly guides you through each stage of the financing journey.

Click here for more information and access to the guides.

The Hidden Cost of Kickstarter

Kickstarter and the Tax Bill

kickstarter tax2If you’re planning on raising capital for your project or startup you might have considered creating a Kickstarter campaign; it’s an easy way to hit the jackpot and get started, right? But what about the tax implications of crowdfundng?

Crowdfunding is not comparable to a lottery win; it isn’t a tax free jackpot or a pot of gold exempt from the normal business, legal, and financial regulations. Rather, crowdfunding and Kickstarter campaigns should be viewed in the same way as any other type of income; you will be liable for tax and you should seek financial advice (read Kickstarter’s official advice here).

For example, a startup sending their backers/contributors some sort of reward, or goodies in return for their backing, will more than likely be viewed as a traditional business selling goods and services, and therefore the usual rules on tax will apply.

We would always encourage you to try new things and test your ideas, and Kickstarter is a great platform for raising money for your project or startup; that being said, if you are going to generate your income in this way, be prepared to factor in the tax bill which will inevitably arrive at your door. Take financial advice, be clued up on the reality of raising a “quick buck” and work out a realistic financial plan.

Read more here.

Financial Blockbuster

Last week I went to an event Higher Education Entrepreneurship Group event on Financial Literacy for Entrepreneurship: What to teach, and how?

This event focused on what’s important for students of enterprise and potential entrepreneurs to learn about accounting and finance, and how best to teach it.

It was an opportunity to discuss, share practice, get new ideas, and network with colleagues across the sector.

One of the most engaging and accessible sessions of the day was by Lionel Bunting of the University of Chichester, who brought a little glitz and glamour to the more mundane aspects of business planning.

Lionel showcased a creative and practical approach, designed to change the way students see and think about business problems and aspects that they’re more likely to shy away from.

With his contextualised real world based exercise; a film festival, he gives students the opportunity and ability to get to grips with all aspects of planning such as operations, marketing, generating income and forecasting sales. Setting up a business can be fun, teaching students practical enterprise skills should be equally as fun.

The talk and presentation was based on a case study workshop Lionel developed on the planning and costing out of a film festival event for an independent cinema. The workshop enables students to work with and develop a range of enterprise and employability skills as well as learn about a business model and sector.

There were other great examples of best practice shared on the day and you can see some of them here.

To hear about best practice we’re sharing on, please register with LEEN (Lancaster University Enterprise Educators Network) and to share yours drop us a line and we will happily post about it on our blog.

MOOC: The Importance of Money in Business

MOOC to develop your commercial awareness & financial knowledge, starts 7th March

mooc money in business2Free Future Learn online course for greater understanding of the role money plays in business success.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur in the making, or you’re looking to work for an established business when you leave University, here’s an opportunity to improve your commercial awareness by completing a Future Learn course in conjunction with the University of Leeds.

Over four weeks you’ll get insights from business professionals and entrepreneurs from adidas, PwC, FitFlop and M&S (to name but a few of the companies involved) about dealing with financial matters and understanding financial strategies for growing a business.

By signing up to the course you’ll have access to videos, animation, interview and top tips. You’ll also have the opportunity to map your skills and demonstrate your commitment to developing your commercial awareness – a crucial skill required by many graduate  employers. This isn’t just a course for future accountants and financiers; understanding the importance of money in business development is relevant across a variety of career paths.

Find out more about the course here and sign up.