Apply for the eBay Doers Scheme

Brilliant business idea which could work on eBay?

The Guardian Labs and eBay are looking for 15 individuals or teams of two with an exciting new idea or one which is already in development to join their new eBay Doers scheme.

The chosen entrepreneurs will receive 10 weeks of mentorship from a leading industry expert and £500 PayPal credit to help build their business, a photoshoot for their product and additional support and promotion on eBay worth over £200.

To find out more and apply, please visit The Guardian’s website.

Applications close: 17th July 

Teach creativity for the future

“Creativity will increasingly be the defining human talent”

I have read a few articles recently on the importance of creativity for the future of the economy and workforce and how we need to design an education that fits future needs.

With increasing levels of mechanisation associated with advances in technology, a number of jobs are at risk of automation, even jobs such as coding will likely soon be quicker done by machines. As a result, greater emphasis is being placed on developing creativity within today’s children as this is something which machines won’t be able to do. So, whilst we should embrace and take advantage of the incredible capabilities of technology, we should also be working to strengthen our uniquely human qualities.

Two articles which discuss this topic in more depth include:

 

Starting an ethical business

Ethical business is booming

The ethical goods market in the UK has quadrupled in size since 2000 and millennials appear more willing to pay for and choose brands doing social or environmental good. However, making money ethically is not always easy, many will not have profit at the forefront of their minds but as chief exec of Cafédirect John Steel explains, ‘financial sustainability is paramount.’ Other aspects such as recruiting the right people, who share the same values as the business are also vital.

The article is a very interesting read with a number of ethical business examples discussed, including the Big Issue, the Ethical Landlords Association and Brighton supermarket hiSbe. You can read the full article on The Guardian’s website.

 

Entrepreneurial Panel Q&A

The Enterprise Team would like to invite students, staff and alumni to attend a special panel event with three of Lancaster University’s Entrepreneurs in Residence. The session will be run as a Q&A, so come prepared to quiz the panel, find out about their experiences and ask for advice on setting up your own venture! Even though the entrepreneurs run businesses predominantly in the engineering and IT sectors, their knowledge about what it takes to run and start up a successful business will be valuable to all aspiring entrepreneurs.

Sitting on the panel will be:

Michael Hill (Managing Director of Optima Control Solutions)

Optima Control Solutions is an expert industrial control systems company, supplying systems and services to companies from multiple sectors, in numerous countries, helping them to improve their processes, productivity and ultimately their profitability.

Andy Hooper (Managing Director of Westlakes Engineering)

Westlakes Engineering is a consultancy providing civil, structural , environmental and attraction safety services. The company has grown quickly since it started in 2004, by establishing a reputation for providing a high quality, professional service to a wide range of clients.

Mark Shepherd (Managing Director of Vertigo Solutions Ltd)

Mark has had a varied career in catering, engineering and even 12 years as a Police Officer – all this before setting up his own IT company. Vertigo Solutions Ltd provide a variety of IT support solutions to a range of markets from manufacturing to education and healthcare.

When? Friday 18th May, 1-3pm

Where? Learning Zone Pod 4

Secure your space on the session by booking through Target Connect.

Come along to pick up some tips and learn from those who have been there and done it!

Learn from experience entrepreneurs within the recruitment and food sectors

Looking for advice from experienced entrepreneurs for your startup?

Considering starting a business within the food industry?

Ready to start hiring people to your startup?

Come and seek advice from experienced entrepreneurs within the recruitment and food sector who have been there and done it!

We are excited to welcome two entrepreneurs next week for open discussions about their experiences in business and to share their advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Take a look at Wayne and Michelle’s profiles below and follow the Target Connect links to book onto either (or both!) of the sessions. Both sessions will take place in Learning Zone Pod 4.

Wayne Brophy (Managing Director of Cast UK)

Thursday 10th May, 1:30-3pm

Once Wayne got a taste for working in recruitment for a large firm he soon realised that he could make quicker strides forward working for himself and thus founded Cast UK in 2005. Cast UK are a specialist recruitment consultancy focusing on roles within procurement, purchasing, supply chain, logistics & transport. The company has grown year on year and now employs 30 people, with plans to double that number by the end of the year!

Book on Target Connect

 

Michelle Partington (Director of Shellys Drinks & Founder and Company Director of Lakeland Picnic)

Friday 11th May, 3-4:30pm

Michelle Partington founded Lakeland Picnic in 2006. Based in the Lake District, the aim of the company was to provide simple and delicious food through the use of some of the finest regional ingredients; served in street locations with a thoughtful and considered approach to customer needs. Michelle has also more recently established Shellys Drinks Ltd – originators of blended alcoholic drinks, supplying retailers and bars.

Book on Target Connect

 

New Enterprise Clinics!

Coffee and a chat with an experienced entrepreneur

This week sees the first of our new weekly Enterprise ‘Clinics’ with entrepreneur Richard Baguley (LinkedIn).

Richard is Managing Director of GDR Public Relations and has 25 years’ experience in the PR & Communications industry for major blue chip brands. Richard is also a part-time tutor within the Lancaster University Management School.

This drop-in session will be a chance for you to come along and pick Richard’s brains – whatever stage you may be at please come along to have a chat with Richard about your idea, seek advice or discuss your progress.

We are looking to host this clinic with Richard on a weekly basis, rotating around campus locations. This week it will be hosted in Bowland Bar on Friday (4th May), 2-4pm. Let us know if you’re coming via email or Target Connect! Future dates will be added to our calendar as and when they are confirmed.

Coffees are on Richard!

Enhance your skills through Design Thinking

New term…. New series of Design 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 term 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. Design Thinking is relevant to all as a life skill and transferable as an approach within many contexts, disciplines and organisations.

Whether you are just looking for a new way to enhance your creativity, innovation, collaboration and communication skills or are interested in becoming a more innovative and systematic entrepreneur, this series of Wednesday afternoon workshops are not to be missed!

You will learn the fundamentals of Design Thinking and gain hands-on experience of applying it to real world problems. Below is an overview of the three sprint sessions including links to sign up through Target Connect. Don’t worry if you are unable to attend all three sessions, each can be attended as a standalone session too. The first session takes place next Wednesday, 25th of April, please sign up through Target Connect.

1: The Process

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

Wednesday the 25th of April at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: Bowland North SR 07

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 on Target Connect

2: From Inspiration to Ideation

Design thinking Sprint – From Inspiration to Ideation

Time: Wednesday the 2nd of May at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: Bowland North SR 07

In the second session we 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, and
Ideation, looking at techniques that are used to visualize, brainstorm and evaluate ideas in order to reach a viable choice.

Book on Target Connect. 

3: Prototyping

Design thinking Sprint – Prototyping

Time: Wednesday the 9th of May at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: Bowland North SR 27

In the third session we will introduce the benefits of prototyping and focus on common approaches to prototyping in Design Thinking.

Book on Target Connect.

You can read more about the Design Thinking process through our account of a previous workshop, but better still… just come along and try it out!

B2B Customer Segments

Different customer profiles when selling to a company

When people look at business-to-business operations they often map the companies they serve as customer profiles. However as explained within a recent Strategyzer blog post, it is actually the different groups of people within the company that should be mapped. Categories may include for example, decision makers, economic buyers, recommenders, saboteurs and end users, and each will have a different set of jobs, pains and gains.

Read more on the Strategyzer Blog.

GDPR – are you ready?

“The regulatory elephant in the room”

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect on the 25 of May 2018. Before then you will need to make sure you have made any relevant changes within your business to ensure compliance. As Enterprise Nation state in their blog post, ‘no business, big or small, can afford to ignore it.’

The blog article also gives six fundamentals for achieving GDPR success. Take a read of the article to help you start getting to grips with what may be required. The Enterprise Team will also hopefully be running a workshop on the topic early next term.

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?