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:






Furnessians, Counties and Bowlanders, see you there!


Don’t miss ‘Start Up Stories’ on 11th June



'I'd have to rate an English Literature degree because the skills I used...taking information and assimilating it and presenting it for PR, marketing, business partners.'

‘I’d have to rate an English Literature degree because of the skills I used…taking information and assimilating it and presenting it for PR, marketing, business partners.’

Entertainment, wisdom and valuable career insights for all, from enterprising Lancaster University Alumni

11th June 2015, 6-9pm, Brandrigg Room (Barker House Farm)

Book now on Target Connect to secure your place.

If you’re an undergraduate or a postgraduate student ‘scratching your head’ for career inspiration, or even if you  think know where you’re heading, you can’t fail to be enlightened by what our enterprising alumni share with us at ‘Start Up Stories’.

Back by popular demand, this is a story telling event where Lancaster enterprising alumni form all  disciplines and sectors return to campus to tell the stories of their personal development journeys; transitions from blue chip careers to starting their 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 learn about the highs, the lows, the failures and the learning that are the pathway to success on this winding journey we call a career, and you’ll hear it first hand from people who are doing what they love and loving what they do in their own ventures.

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 there will be nibbles and refreshments.

Book now on Target Connect to secure your place.

This event is possible because of generous donations to the Alumni Friends Fund.

Stepping back to go Forward – Alumni Voices

Live event illustration by  karljamesmountford.com

Live event illustration by karljamesmountford.com

The message from alumni was loud and clear; They only learned what was missing from their programmes of study when they had graduated and stepped out into the big wide world.

Last week I joined an Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK) event at the University of Wales Trinity St David in Swansea. EEUK host regular events for HEI enterprise educators to pool resources, share best practice, inform government and lobby from the bottom up. A member institution, any Lancaster University staff can go along for free.

The event was largely alumni led. ‘Voices of alumni, their experiences, networks and expertise’. It covered approaches to enhancing curricular and extra curricular activities to develop enterprising and employable graduates. At the University of Wales Trinity St David (USWTSD) alumni engagement has directly assisted educators and resulted for example, in one of the highest graduate enterprise and entrepreneurship spin outs in the UK.

At Thursday’s event, what recent alumni said would have been the most valuable things to have had, as a part of their university experience were:

  • Industry / work related experience
  • Networking and collaboration with clients, suppliers and students on different courses
  • Enterprise and entrepreneurship education
  • The opportunity to hear from alumni who had been in their shoes

Below are  shared just a few of the questions and discussion areas on the day:

  • What can alumni bring to teaching? Working with recent graduates to help to design and develop enterprising programmes.
  • Do we ask them what is needed now based on what they need in the workplace and the challenges they are facing?
  • Professor Andy Penaluna spoke about the Continuous Conceptual Review Model (page30) (allowing past students to inform)
  • Could students help us to teach?
  • Could students help us to design the curriculum?
  • Lucy Griffiths from (USWTSD) spoke about the ‘Students as Partners Agenda’
  • If students saw past students helping and contributing to their learning would they be inspired to so the same?
  • Does this develop a better alumni network and engagement at all for the future?
  • What about alumni as active role models? See the Wales Dynamo Role Model Programme
  • Do we celebrate enterprise and entrepreneurship achievement enough?
  • Do we celebrate our alumni?
  • What can our current students learn through our alumni contributions to the academic programme – My story so far…
  • Encouraging more universities to adopt the QAA Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Guidance
  • The tension between the value of ‘glorious failure’ in learning and  grades and league tables.
  • Some interesting in-curricular concepts to give learners a taste of the real world:
  • Students learning the value of time and materials by having to complete time sheets and submit invoices weekly for the duration of a course.
  • Learning the need to be flexible, adaptable and agile was approached by injecting reality to project management; changing deadlines, adding ad hoc information along the way. At one university students have to make a specific number of cold calls a week and handle a specific number of business e-mails.

I went along to share how in collaboration with our Alumni Development Team, the Enterprise Team have started to work with our enterprising alumni through the Start Up Stories Series of events. (SUS)

It’s an event that is growing its following. For students of all faculties, it’s real life experiences from recent and past alumni who have started businesses in all sectors. For our alumni there is clear value in giving back and meeting the bright young talent they might be collaborating with in the future.

For our next SUS event on 11th June one of our alumni is threatening to make the long journey from Brazil to tell his entrepreneurial tale! There is much good will and potential value for everyone in these relationships.

Growing the capacity of our current students to be early active and engaged alumni is one important element of  growing a reciprocal eco system of enterprise and support at Lancaster University. It would be really interesting to hear how staff at Lancaster work with our past students in the course of their work.

You can sign up for EEUK newsletters to hear about future events here.

You can download the slides and information from the event here.

You can sign up for the next ‘Start Up Stories’ event in June here.

‘Start Up Stories’ series 2015



If you’ve started your own business since graduating, could you share your experiences with the next generation of students with entrepreneurial ideas and aspirations?

If you’ve started your own business you’ll know the value an entrepreneurial mindset brings, to both new ventures or to large corporations.  But you can’t really teach this stuff; you just have to do it.  This takes a leap into the unknown, and it doesn’t always work first time.

While you may have learned the hard way, these are eye-opening messages for students just starting to explore their own career options and business ideas.  Hearing them from people who’ve been there and done it is extremely powerful, which is why last November we launched the Start-Up Stories series of events, bringing together entrepreneurial students and alumni to share ideas and experiences.

Start-Up Stories events follow a simple story-telling format, but these stories are brought to life with the magic of live illustration.  Click here to see the gallery of images from our first event.  These digitised images allow those stories to be retold time and time again, taking on a life of their own and serving as an inspiration and a legacy for our current students.

Wherever in the world you are, if you have started a business, however large or small, and would like to share your ‘entrebiography’ please do get in touch. We would love to gather as many stories as possible to show just how varied people’s journeys have been.

 The dates for 2015 are below.  If you’d like the chance to tell your story and have it illustrated, complete the form here to let us know if you can join us in person or via Skype.

  • Thursday 5th March 2015
  • Thursday 11th June 2015
  • Thursday 19th November 2015

This is also a great way to promote your business, expand your networks, meet new clients and of course our next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators, some of whom have already made impressive progress in attracting investment from larger companies.

Students, staff and alumni can attend the event by booking via Target Connect.

You can view the full gallery of illustrations here.

The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen


The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen

Everyone is a thinker and a doer. Everyone is entrepreneurial. Turn your ideas into action with this free online course.

A park bench? A run? A workshop? A shed? We all have places where we do our best thinking and doing. This course aims to recreate that atmosphere, enabling you to unlock and explore your ideas, and make them happen.

Click here to register:

Kevin Roberts Masterclass – this Friday!!

We wanted to invite you all to a masterclass this Friday with Kevin Roberts. The event forms part of our masterclass series and will include an audience of businesses, MBA and Masters Students and University staff and associates.

Kevin Roberts, CNZM, CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi


Friday 16th January 2014, 16:45 – 20:00

Masterclass and registration will be held in the George Fox Lecture Theatre 1, Lancaster University. Networking to be held in the Management School following the masterclass.

Kevin Roberts is the New York-based CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi – one of the world’s leading creative organizations with over 6500 people and 130 offices in 70 countries – and part of Publicis Groupe, the world’s third largest communications group. Saatchi & Saatchi works with 6 of the top 10 and over half of the top 50 global advertisers.

Born and educated in Lancaster, Kevin started his career in the late 1960s with iconic London fashion house Mary Quant. He became a senior marketing executive for Gillette and Procter & Gamble in Europe and the Middle East. At 32, he became CEO of Pepsi-Cola Middle East; and later Pepsi’s CEO in Canada. He took up his position as CEO Worldwide with Saatchi & Saatchi in 1997.


We ask that you register a place/ places at the event so we can cater for the correct numbers. Please feel free to bring along a guest with you.

We anticipate that this masterclass will be very popular and we want to ensure we have enough seats!

To confirm attendance, please email or call Eve Tinker on 01524 510703 or e.tinker@lancaster.ac.uk.

The Social Value Summit 2015

The early bird for the Social Value Summit 2015 closes this Friday (19th December).



The Social Value Summit on 3rd February 2015 is an event to share good practice, expert insight, and key learning in relation to all things social value – as well as a chance to debate and tackle some of the key challenges.


Brought to you by Social Enterprise UK & Interserve, and supported by a range of other partners, the Social Value Summit will bring together the key practitioners, experts, influencers and leaders from social enterprise, charity, local and national government, business, housing, healthcare and more.


Reserve your place today


Ticket prices:


  • Member Social Enterprise UK: Early bird rate £100.00.  After 19th December the full rate is £120.00 + VAT
  • Non-Member Social Enterprise & Charity: Early bird rate £120.00.  After 19th December the full rate is £140.00 + VAT
  • Non-Member Public Sector: Early bird rate £145.00.  After 19th December the full rate is £220.00 + VAT
  • Non-Member Private Sector: Early bird rate £195.00.  After 19th December the full rate is £220.00 + VAT


Join Social Enterprise UK today from £75 a year to take advantage of the discounted rate and many other benefits including exclusive member offers on events and services and in-depth policy updates via our member bulletin.


Exhibitor spaces are available. Email Nick.Temple@socialenterprise.org.uk for more information.



Start-Up Stories

Start-Up Stories

Thursday 20th Nov, 7pm-9pm, LUMS Careers Zone


[image courtesy www.startups.ie]

Start-Up Stories is a story-telling event, and the stories will be told by Alumni who have started businesses, describing their journeys, the pitfalls, the highlights, what they’ve learned and things to avoid.  To bring these stories to life, we are bringing in some Live Illustrators.  In case that’s not something you’ve heard of, here’s a great example from the RSA/Animate series.  I’m no artist, so to me this stuff is magic, but maybe I’m just easily entertained.

Anyway, it’s going to be very informal, with wine and nibbles, and a great chance to meet people with experience to share.  Who knows, you might meet a potential mentor, business partner or just generally useful connection for your own journey.

Registration for the event is via TARGETconnect but we won’t turn anyone away.  Oh, and the Enterprise Social starts immediately afterwards in Bowland Bar, so you can carry on your conversations in more informal surroundings.

Thank you for your time; I hope to see you tomorrow.

Very best regards, on behalf of the Enterprise Partners

Simon Harrison
Enterprise Champion Project Manager

Get Connected schedule for week now live!

One week could change your career perspectives forever!

Get Connected: Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014


Making things happen is so much easier when you’re CONNECTED

If you want to get connected to other people who also want to make things happen, come along to any of the events during Global Entrepreneurship Week and see who you can meet.

Throughout the week you will be able to connect with people:

  • who can connect you to every bit of enterprise and innovation support on campus and beyond (watch this space)
  • from your college to find a winning business solution (more)
  • who can help you get the most from your Lancaster Award (more)
  • who can show you how to earn while you learn as a Freelancer (more)
  • who’ve learned from failure and moved forward stronger than ever (more)
  • who are looking to involve others and achieve more (more)
  • who make social media work for their project or business (more)
  • who want to work in the creative sector (more)
  • who know how to run a business on campus (more)
  • who can help you find office space on campus (more)
  • who can get your hands on technology for innovation (more)
  • to create and develop ideas for business and social enterprise (more)
  • who can provide work experience opportunities while you study (more)
  • who can share their experience through mentoring (more)
  • who will help you let your hair down (more)
  • who can refine your creative problem-solving skills (more )
  • who can help you turn your idea into a business or social enterprise (more)
  • and form a team to face the challenge of Google Start Up Weekend (more)

GEW Timetable (RGB)

Click thumbnail above to view full schedule, or click here to download PDF (2MB).

Registration via TARGETconnect (follow links above).

To find all events for the whole week, search for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014 in Event Type on TARGETconnect.

Sign up to our mailing list to be the first to know when the schedule is announced.