LUMS' Entrepreneurs in Residence network going global to enhance student education around the world

Some attendees sat in rows at tables in a lecture theatre, listening to a presentation at the EiR conference in Lancaster this week © Andrew Copplestone
Some attendees taking part in a breakout session at the EiR conference this week

Lancaster University Management School’s Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiR) network is going global in a bid to further improve student education and stimulate more cutting-edge research across the world.

In a new initiative, LUMS will partner with business schools across the world to share entrepreneurial connections in order to create a giant pool of business experts who are on hand to help business students and bring classroom learning to life.

The move is the next step in LUMS’ hugely successful EiR network, which comprises of entrepreneurs who are embedded in all activities within the management school from mentoring students and contributing to lectures and seminars, to sitting on LUMS’ Advisory Board with senior leaders to discuss strategy and direction for the faculty.

Over the last 17 years it has grown from a single entrepreneur to a network that boasts more than 90 members from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, operating in different sectors and markets right across the world. Its youngest member is a 21-year-old businesswoman from Malaysia, who owns a manufacturing business employing 40 people.

Brian Gregory, Senior Teaching Fellow at LUMS and Director of the EiR network, said: “Our EiRs are incredible, influential people who are working on the front line of business, facing the real-world challenges our students are learning about in their lecture theatres.

“To make their education and experience even more relevant, we bring lessons to life by connecting entrepreneurs with students in the classroom wherever possible. So, if we are delivering a lecture about the coffee industry and the challenges it faces, for example, we can give students the chance to speak directly to a coffee grower in Columbia, to open their eyes to direct experiences and challenges.

“By widening our EiR network to include other universities and their own business connections, we expand our pool of global experts. This will be of huge mutual benefit to both students and entrepreneurs. Students will be able to have direct access to specific businesspeople in specific markets, while entrepreneurs also get access to a wider, stronger network and the opportunity to connect with different regions, gain a deeper understanding of new markets and have the chance to identify future talent.”

It was announced that Lancaster University Management School will lead the new ‘knowledge exchange’ programme with a network of business schools from across the world at the annual EiR conference, held in Lancaster this week. The crowd of more than 80 business leaders from across the UK who gathered at the event heard that LUMS already had interest and connections made with universities across Asia, Europe and the US as well as the UK.

This week’s event was the second Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiR) annual conference, designed to celebrate and strengthen LUMS’ unique EiR network. It brought business leaders and leading academics together for lively discussions on pressing issues, and featured talks on sustainability and future food security, succession planning in family businesses and stewardship.

Brian Gregory and Cat Smith MP pictured at Lancaster's EiR Conference 2023

Cat Smith MP and Brian Gregory at Lancaster University Management School's EiR annual conference this week

The event was opened by Professor Claire Leitch, Executive Dean of Lancaster University Management School, and Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, also addressed the audience. Ms Smith spoke fondly of her student experience at Lancaster University and spoke about the importance of looking to the future in a changing climate.

Lancaster University has recently been shortlisted for ‘Business School of the Year’ in the Times Higher Education Awards, based upon its unique Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiR) programme.

To find out more about EiRs, watch the video below, or visit:

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