The Lancaster MBA cohort put their strategic knowledge to the test recently, when they visited NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator in Manchester.
The group learned about the bank’s entrepreneur support project which aims to help develop entrepreneurs and support start-up and scale-up business growth. The students also heard about how NatWest has created its own Entrepreneurial Development Academy, which is designed to encourage entrepreneurial thinking within NatWest itself.
During the visit, which formed part of the Entrepreneurship module, the cohort heard presentations from four diverse businesses based in the Accelerator, concerning their current growth challenges. The students then pitched back solutions using knowledge gained on the world’s top-ranked MBA Strategy module.
James Manning, a student on the MBA programme said: "The Entrepreneur Accelerator was a real change of gear for us as a class. From studying multinational, mature companies, we were exposed to the complexities, risks and potential of real start-up companies. From 'one man bands' to freelance networks, we were tasked with problems and restrictions which we hadn't encountered before."
Grahame Brown, one of the organisers of the visit, said: “The visit was a triple-way win; for our students, the Bank, and the participating businesses themselves, the latter who have already provided feedback on how insightful and enjoyable a day it was for them and have now set about implementing some of the recommendations given by the students. This also represents a further tangible example of the growing successful relationship between Lancaster University Management School and NatWest who kindly hosted and provided such superb speakers and facilitators to deliver the day’s activity.”
The visit builds on the long-standing successful partnership between Lancaster University Management School and NatWest to build a stronger business network in the North West.
Gemma Kirkby, Entrepreneur Development Manager at the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator in Manchester, added: “The collaboration with Lancaster University Management School has given our entrepreneurs the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of the MBA students, and gain valuable insight into ways to grow and develop their businesses. We’re committed to supporting UK entrepreneurs and are always looking for new opportunities to work with other members of the local business community through our Manchester hub.”
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