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.


Win £25,000! Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards info session next week

One of the UK’s largest student and graduate business pitching competitions, is HERE!

How can I find out more?

Come along to our information drop-in on Friday 23rd February in Pod 4 in the Learning Zone.  We’ll be there throughout the day, ready to answer your questions and help you get off to a flying start. If you’re interested in hearing from someone who has been involved before, Charles Rogers, semi-finalist from last year’s competition will be joining us at 10:30am to share his experience. It would be great if you could email us to let us know if you are planning to attend.

Can I read anything in the meantime?

Yes!  Please visit our competition information page here.  You’ll be able to get an overview of the competition and download the information pack.

What other support will be available?

We will announce dedicated workshops on completing your competition Business Model Canvas, and producing a 2 minute video pitch, and offering 1-2-1 support with your individual application before Easter.   Watch this space!

Drivers for Change

‘A journey to creative social action’

Drivers for Change are looking for young leaders aged 18-26 who are motivated to create social change within their communities, to join a 10 day journey across the UK this Summer. The 10 day learning experience aims to inspire future leaders through exploring how the arts, social enterprise and business can come together to create social change in UK communities.  Through taking part in the programme it is hoped that participants will:

  • Build their networks, connect with like-minded people
  • Receive practical advice and support to create their own social action or enterprise plan
  • Be inspired by social leaders from across the UK
  • Access mentoring opportunities
  • Develop an understanding of a diverse range of social challenges around the UK

Applications close: 26th March 2018

To find out more about the programme and how to apply, please visit the Drivers for Change website.

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.

New student-run investment fund

Campus Capital to invest thousands in Lancashire startups

Lancaster University have signed a partnership with venture capital firm, Campus Capital, to bring investment to the region and further strengthen Lancashire’s startup ecosystem. The model is unique in the sense that the fund is part-run by teams to Student Venture Capitalists!

This partnership will see the investment of between £50k-200k in early stage, high-growth potential companies, on and off campus.  There is a particular focus on ‘making sure existing startups who are already doing great things get the investment they need to scale.’ It is hoped that the fund will help to increase opportunities for companies to collaborate with the University, stay and grow in the region.

Campus Capital will open to Lancashire-based startups in the New Year, although companies who are considering fundraising within the next six months are encouraged to get in touch sooner.

Fancy trying your hands at being an venture capitalist?

Students are given the opportunity to take part in an experiential learning opportunity where they will be trained as Student Venture Capitalists to run some of the early aspects of the fund pipeline. In addition to training, students will receive ongoing mentoring and experience of assessing and analysing a company’s investment-readiness. Application to take part in the scheme are now open, you can find out more here.

To find out more, visit the Campus Capital website.

£10,000 Funding to help the environment

Do you have a digital solution to an environmental problem?

Are you aged between 17 and 25? Do you have an idea that could help the environment through digital technology, such as improving energy efficiency, reducing waste or increasing recycling?

If so, this is your chance to apply for up to £10,000 of funding from Environment Now to help make that idea into a reality!

This exciting opportunity from O2’s Think Big will not only provide successful applicants with the money, but also support from the Environment Now team, their own professional mentor and other sustainability partners and industry professionals.

Current applications are open until the 8th of September, however this will be followed by another round of applications, open until October the 27th.

To find out more, watch the video below and visit the Think Big website, where you can also read about previously funded projects.

£50,000 Inventor Prize

Got an idea for a product that could improve people’s lives?

Calling all inventors, entrepreneurs, shed-tinkerers, DIYers or life-hackers – if you have an idea for a product which could help improve people’s lives, the Inventor Prize could be for you!

Nesta are launching the prize in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The prize aims to inspire and harness the potential of the UK’s home-grown inventors and stimulate user-led innovation. The prize will support individuals and small organisations to take their innovative products from idea to market.

The deadline for applications is the 22nd of October 2017.  In November, a panel of judges will select 10 finalists to receive £5,000 as well as bespoke mentoring to develop their product. Then the overall winner will be announced in September next year, winning £50,000 to make their dream a reality.

To find out more and enter the competition visit the Inventor Prize website.

Young Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year 2017

Win £1,500 and mentoring for your new fine food product!

Inspired by the growing number of new businesses being started by young entrepreneurs, Cotswold Fayre are hosting a competition for young entrepreneurs aged between 18-25 years old who have a new fine food product that they may be looking to bring to market.

You could win £1,500 of funding, a year of mentoring from company Founder, Paul Hargreaves plus help from Cotswold Fayre’s in-house designers to build a strong brand identity.

Applications close: 30th June

To read more about the competition, previous winners and to apply, visit the Cotswold Fayre website. 


Build a Country Challenge

Project Invitation: Build a Country Challenge

Student, Morgan Saunders is currently looking to form a team to take part in the Build a Country Challenge, this post is an invitation from Morgan to join his project team:

Do you have a winning solution for Digital Identity Management?

Do you want to compete in a prestigious international competition?

Do you have business experience or a business related degree?

Do you have an interest in programming or data science?

If you answered yes to any of the previous questions you may be interested in the Build a Country Challenge. I am forming a team, primarily of Lancaster Students, to compete in the Challenge.

What I bring to the team:

  • Commitment
  • Commercial awareness
  • Pitching skills

Ideal team member:

  • Committed
  • Creative
  • Experience of formulating business plans or programming or expertise in Digital Identity Management.






What taking part involves:

  • Assisting with the generation of a practical solution to digital identity management.
  • Assisting in the creation of a feasible business plan.

The deadline for submission is the 30th April 2017

What is the competition process?

If our idea makes it into the top three, we would be invited to speak at the 7th Follow The Entrepreneur Summit in Malta, 9th/10th July 2017. If our idea wins the challenge, €500,000 capital investment, coaching and mentoring would be the prize.

If you are interested please email the Enterprise Team and we will forward the message on to Morgan. More information on the challenge can be found here.