Wantrepreneur or Entrepreneur?

Getting out of the ‘wantrepreneurial state’

In an article written for the UK Domain, a wantrepreneur is defined as someone with an idea who doesn’t take any action towards it, or takes action which is less important or indirect, often skipping the validation stage.

The article gives some tips on how to get going with your idea and out of the ‘wantrepreneurial state’ and also how to stay motivated as an entrepreneur. You can read the full article on the UK Domain Site.

If you’re struggling to get started with putting your idea into action, why not come along to one of our workshops or tell us about your idea?

You can see all of our upcoming events in the events calendar, or register your interest via the registration form to book a 1-to-1 IntroLab with a member of the team.

 

Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2017

‘Celebrating Entrepreneurship in Great Britain’

Now in its fifth year, the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards celebrates the hard work and inspiring stories of outstanding British entrepreneurs and businesses. The awards not only set out to celebrate successes but also the stories behind the people – ‘true entrepreneurs are as much about their story as they are about their balance sheet.’

This year the award is expanding, with ceremonies to be held in five cities – Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and  London.

There are 11 different categories in which you can nominate including, Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year.

The deadline for nominations is the 1st of September 2017. To find out more and submit an application, visit the awards website.

T1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Info Session

Are you an international student interested in starting a business in the UK after graduation?

Did you know that there is a special visa which enables non-EEA nationals to start their own business in the UK after graduation?

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa allows you to stay in the UK for 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.

The window for undergraduate applications is now open so if you would like to know more about the scheme, including details relating to the process and requirements – this session is not one to miss! The session will also provide you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have for the International Registry Team.

When? Monday 19th June, 11am-12pm 

Where? Learning Zone Pod 4

Please sign-up to attend the information session on TARGETconnect.

You can read more about the scheme here and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

 

Big Ideas Challenge

Be an Entrepreneur for 4 days!

The Big Ideas Challenge 2 is an enterprise and employability challenge organised by UCLan Student Enterprise & Incubation Team and Careers Service.

The challenge will involve working in teams on a real, live challenge across 4 days in conjunction with a real organisation. You will be expected to come up with a ‘Big Idea,’ prove the business case for it and then pitch it to an expert panel of judges. The team with the best pitch will win the prizes and a placement opportunity.

The challenge is based on the principle of ‘learning by doing’ and at the end of the challenge, you should be able to do more than you could before, having stretched your ability to tackle and respond to real life problems such as those within a real work or business environment.

When? 15-18th May 2017

Where? UCLan Media Factory

You can read more about the successes from the first Big Ideas Challenge here.

If you are interested in attending please let us know by emailing enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk

 

Insights into Web Development and Building a Successful Business

Next Week’s Entrepreneurs!

Below are the profiles of two business founders who are available for you to meet this coming Thursday (16th) 2-4pm. Both have a wealth of knowledge and experience which they are keen to share with any budding entrepreneur, so why not come and run your idea past them? If you wish to book an appointment please email the Enterprise Team. 

Alan Jewitt

Managing Director of SYPO 

Alan trained as a computer programmer and is now founder of SYPO (Sell Your Products Online). Based in Kendal, SYPO are a web development company, providing web and desktop solutions to a customer base of SMEs. Alan first started learning about web development in 2000 and had his first customer in 2002. Initially working from home, he soon realised he needed more space, prompting a move into an office, allowing him to employ a team and provide proper support for his customers. Today SYPO has four full-time developers, providing web and desktop solutions.

Philip Coatesworth

Managing Director of Boatbridge

Philip came to LUMS in 1974 in an attempt to escape the corporate bureaucracy experienced in his previous employment. During his MA he set up a small van sales operation, delivering flowers and plants to local florists and garden centres, over the next 20 years this expanded into a large multi-site operation. Following the collapse of the business in 1995, Philip founded PYD which became the world’s largest specialist provider of crewed yacht delivery services. Phil is now involved in a wide range of SME support, graduate and undergraduate activities as well as, actively working, via his new company Boatbrige Ltd., on promoting a Shackleton leadership development programme.

Entrepreneurial Small Business Minister

Former entrepreneur Margot James appointed small business minister

Last week it was announced that Margot James, a former business owner, is the new small business minister.

Before her political career, Margot ran her own PR and education business Shire Health. The firm was voted ‘consultancy of the year’ three times before being sold to marketing giant WPP.

The role holder, officially referred to as the minister for small business, industry and enterprise, is responsible for the business sector, access to finance and local and regional growth among other responsibilities.

Read more.

A reality check – supercharging your employability… and a college event to get you started.

Startup Stories

 

We all need role models and mentors to broaden our perspectives, and hearing from people, once in your shoes who have been out in the world of work and gone on to become entrepreneurs can provide powerful insights into how futures can unfold in very unexpected ways.

If you are a Bowland, County or Furness College member, there’s a chance on Thursday 17th March to get registered on the forthcoming ’ Startup Stories’ event in your College.  It’s an event for you by your college alumni as they will be share the highs lows and wisdom learned on their startup journeys.

…I can guess what what you’re thinking… “I’m not an entrepreneur – so why would I want to think like one?” Here are the realities:

Reality 1 – Entrepreneurs are not superhuman. They’re just people like you and me who have worked hard to turn their ideas into a reality.

Reality 2 – We all have ideas, creativity and skills, we just don’t always know how to put them to work. When we do, we learn through trial and error, continual improvement and refinement. If we step out to start bringing our ideas to life, we start to develop what’s sometimes called an ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ – which simply means thinking like a successful business person when looking for opportunities to create value, or solve business, social or world challenges.

Reality 3 – The world of work is changing. We are all having to adapt to a fast paced and more challenging and competitive work environment. Employers are looking for people who can be ‘intrapreneurial’ within  in their organisations.  Whatever  art, craft or expertise you are developing, you will need to be in the habit of creating value … for someone else if not for yourself or your customers. Playing with challenges and ideas whilst at university creates evidence of performance for future employers.

Reality 4– Entrepreneurship can creep up on you. Many of of the alumni never really expected to start a business; They have made transitions from blue chip careers to starting their own ventures, making a life and a living from their research, or simply fulfilling their purpose by doing something to make positive change for people.

Reality 5  Being inquisitive in the company of entrepreneurs will raise your awareness of  just what’s possible when believe your potential is infinite and you turn your ideas to reality.

So, how do YOU start thinking like an entrepreneur? Your first step could well be to sign up for ‘Startup Stories’ to hear from who are doing what they love and loving what they do running their own businesses. Startup Stories is social, it’s fun and it’s creative too– we have artists at the event capturing the stories through live illustration.

Search ‘Startup Stories’ on Target Connect. The events are listed under a Bowland, County or Furness Colleges.

If you are from another College look out for events later on the year and in the meantime you could check out the stories from our previous events here.

This is what past students said about it:

Inspiring

 

 

 

 

Furnessians, Counties and Bowlanders, see you there!

 

Startup Stories 19th November – Programme announced

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‘Start up Stories’ –  Entertainment, wisdom and valuable career insights for all and a drink in the bar with Lancaster University Alumni – Thursday 19th November 2015

Book now on Target Connect to secure your place.

 ‘Almost a quarter of UK students are starting a business whilst at university, generating a turnover of around £44M a year.’ (Santander 2014)

Are you still exploring career options and sectors, or you have ever wondered what it takes to be or work with an entrepreneur?

Curious..? Then join us for this storytelling event with our very own alumni who will share the highs, lows and lessons learned on their own entrepreneurial journeys; transitions from blue chip careers to starting their own businesses, making a life and a living from their research, or simply fulfilling their purpose by doing something to make positive change for people.

You’ll hear it from the heart from people who are doing what they love and loving what they do:

Winner of the Women in Business Award 2015

BA Hons English Literature

Pendle College

Founder of an Oxfordshire based Award Winning Digital Design Agency

BA Hons Art, Design and Marketing

Fylde College

An Aids Charity founder whose strategies once saw him rise £12M in 12 weeks

MA Marketing

Fylde College

Creator of a widely-cited, award-winning framework for decision making,

who earned notoriety as a student as one of the ‘Lancaster 25’ in the 1975 occupation and legal case

BA Hons Philosophy 1975

County College

As a potential employee, manager or entrepreneur, you really can’t fail to learn something valuable and you might meet a future employer, a mentor or simply expand your networks.

Stories will be told to the magic of live illustration and we’ll all be heading to the pub afterwards for a social. You may meet a potential employer a mentor, or simply increase your network on LinkedIn.

Book now on Target Connect to secure your place.  Search for ‘Startup Stories (MIH)’

Still need convincing? Watch this film here made by a first year sudent.

This event is organised by The Enterprise Team thanks to funding from the Alumni  and Friends of the University.

Entrepreneur’s Corner

An interview with past student and entrepreneur Nick Churchill – Evans, BSc Hons Management Science Operational Research 1994, Lonsdale College

Nick Churchill-Evans - Cloudthing 670 x 200 banner

 

 

 

 

 

 

To hear live alumni tales of starting a business, book your place at the next ‘Startup Stories’ event on 19th November  here.

Nick supports the development of entrepreneurial talent at Lancaster University through his support for the Lancaster University Enterprise Centre.

 What first got you thinking about starting a business Nick?

OK, one night I and  three of my, my fellow ‘diligent hard working students had a conversation about the theory of building a business; we decided that the bedrock of a good business came down to one thing; we didn’t know anything really… but this is what we thought ‘It was about customer service’. So we talked about running we a sandwich shop; we could know all our customers names, we could give them love when they come in, welcome them, we could give them big fillings because the fillings are really small overhead in the scale of the whole business…That was the theory; Unfortunately it turns out we knew absolutely nothing about sandwiches, because we hadn’t done a sandwich course! From those early pipedreams, two of us actually decided to go ahead and start a business. It was that, or get on a graduation training scheme with Shell or someone. I am no big environmentalist, but I really didn’t fancy doing that!

How did you get started in your first business venture?

My best friend and I formed a business, luckily nothing to do with sandwiches… I had done a degree by that point in operational research, so I knew a little bit about looking at businesses and looking at business problems and using maths and stats to fix them. My friend did Operational Management (which was for less clever people!). What we did was literally go out and bamboozle our way into some contracts. I only looked about fourteen as well, I really don’t know quite know how we did it. I think it was simply blind disbelief that we could actually fail.

What kind of work were you doing to get things off the ground?

We picked up a couple of contracts, helping some customers to look at their businesses and a bit of management consultancy. The solutions to those problems were actually writing some software so we ended up being computer programmers as well.

So it was all going really well?

Sadly that only lasted about two years. We knew nothing, (even less than we knew about management consultancy to be fair); nothing about contracts and getting things agreed in a way that was water tight, where each party understood what they were doing and what they were going to get. I won’t bore you with the details but tears were involved, there was much gnashing of teeth, we almost came to fisty cuffs, (not my partner and me, him and me versus the other party.) In the end we thought let’s just draw the business to a close.

That must have been hard, how did you bounce back?

All my friends had great jobs with blue chip companies. I thought that they were living their lives on expenses and having a great time, so I thought, ‘I’ll go and grab some of that!’, and I did for fifteen great years until the company I was working for was sold to Capita. I think the guys I’m in business with and I lasted three months under the new regime. We all lookoperation waveed at one another in a meeting one day and I think I might have been the first person to say ‘There has got to be a better way of making a living than working for these guys,’ and everyone went …’Oh yeah.’ So we launched ‘Operation Wave’, as in wave goodbye to Capita!

 You’re stepping into serial entrepreneur territory now!  What did you do in the next business?

We decided we would try consultancy again. Whilst we had made a few quid, working for a big company, we had spent it all on children and wives. We all had big mortgages, big responsibilities. We needed to bootstrap and bootstrap fast. So we took some clients on and built some software for them. In 2011 we launched cloudThing and I left Capita in 2013.  What I did was get to start a business without taking any loans and that has really been done by going and finding some customers.

They say selling is the steepest learning curve in your own business, what would you say?

Let me tell you it is quite hard selling, but what we did is the ‘Entrepreneur’s Hustle’.  You pick the phone up, get on the email and, get hold of as many people as you know and you beg for them to do business with you. Basically that is what we have done…shamelessly. Then, when you have done something with them, or they say, ‘No! We can’t!’  we ask,  ‘Who else can you refer me to?’ Honestly, we have built up the best part of two million pounds worth of revenue over the last 18 months or so by doing that.

What has surprised you most during this journey?

I think the thing that has surprised me most, is the warmth of human kindness, out there. I haven’t looked at the stats but, of every hundred people that you ask for help, I bet a quarter of them will do something for you. Most of my LinkedIn posts start ‘Help!’,  because I  figured that’s basically what I am looking for; I might as well be really up front about it and a bit of transparency and honesty about where you are is really helpful.

What are your top tips for student entrepreneurs?

I’d encourage you to build your networks now! If you are not already, get on LinkedIn. It’s build your networksa gold mine of people and there are loads of people that are itching to give you advice about who to go and talk to about getting grants, how to go about crowd sourcing money; loads of people that will help you if you just ask for the help.

What did you learn about yourself that you can share with others?

I found out was that actually I  am not as clever as I thought I was when I was an arrogant twenty one year old with a degree,  shaking my fists in the air and thinking I was going to rule the world. My co-directors of cloudThing are three of the smartest guys I have ever worked with, and they haven’t quite figured out that I am not as clever as they think I am! When you are looking at your network, think about who you want to work with. Who has skills that compliment your own? You don’t have to go into business with them necessarily, but you might find that you can collaborate and help one another.

What would your advice be to students thinking of starting a business?

If you can get out of university and start your business, or, ideally start it before, and bootstrap it, without getting onto the salary train, I would massively recommend trying it. I was welcome in my parent’s house, to a certain extent, for a while anyway, so I didn’t have to worry about unpaid rent. It is much more difficult once you have mortgage and all those things, and children bless them! So… do it … do it now, you’re interested enough to be finding out about it, so you have got what it takes in my opinion. Go try it!

Do it now

With his software development company cloudThing, Nick works with and invests in entrepreneurs, start-ups and fast growing businesses to develop the technology upon which they deliver their services and upon which their businesses are founded. He has a passion for agile business through beautiful software and infrastructure architecture that can flex to unforeseen market opportunity, scale rapidly, yet stretch capital as far as it can go.  The philosophy that Nick and his colleagues work to is that, “Everything we do should ‘build future’ for our clients”.

You can view Nick’s LinkedIn profile here.