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About Work in Progress

Why, How, What?

What is Enterprise Education and why do we do it at Lancaster?

The best answer to this question is provided by the QAA's document from January 2018, Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Education: Guidance for UK Higher Education Providers, page two of which states:

  • "Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education provides interventions that are focused on supporting behaviours, attributes and competencies that are likely to have a significant impact on the individual student in terms of successful careers, which in turn adds economic, social and cultural value to the UK.
  • “Enterprise Education is an excellent tool to prepare students for changing environments. It provides enhanced impact through placements and activities that build links between academic institutions and external organisations.
  • “Entrepreneurship Education and the development of entrepreneurial capacity is not simply linked to employment. It provides competencies to lead a rewarding, self-determined professional life. Students will be well placed to add significant social, cultural and economic value to society through entrepreneurial activity throughout their careers.
  • “Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education can have significant impact for the academic institution, through spin-out or graduate start-ups that build credibility for the institution, and through new external relationships with growth-orientated organisations. These activities combine to support the delivery of multiple strategies for the sector: teaching and learning; research and impact; and knowledge exchange and engagement.
  • “Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education is a significant part of the university landscape; its successful delivery is key to the overall success of the sector.”

This guidance underpins our own rationale for prioritising Enterprise activities at Lancaster, and we draw on the methodologies and approaches of Lean Entrepreneurship, Human Centred Design and Social Learning throughout our own service delivery. Our interventions are all informed by EntreComp, the European Commission's Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (2016).

Our Mission Statement

An idea can strike at any time. But turning that idea into a thriving enterprise takes a little longer. It needs to be built up and tested out, refined and evolved – laying a solid foundation around that first spark.

We’re here to help harness passion, creativity and drive, to give ambition physical form – transforming thoughts into actions, and goals into strategies. It’s not a straight line, with a set start and finish. It’s a process of progression, always evolving – breaking new ground and setting new directions. And it’s no solo endeavour. We know that leaders and entrepreneurs are lauded for their single-minded strength, but we also know that their success depends on collaboration.

With workshops and coaching we turn learners into workplace-ready professionals. With peer support and design processes, we turn innovative ideas into working enterprises. And with professional mentorship and advice, we turn start-ups and SMEs into businesses equipped to bring new products and services to new markets.

Whatever your starting point, this is the place for your next step – a space and a service designed to help your ideas thrive. This is a place for turning dreamers into doers and visions into ventures.

Meet the Team

Lancaster University Enterprise Team is a professional services function of Research & Enterprise Services, operating under the brand Work in Progress. The team operates a physical facility with the same name on Alexandra Square in the heart of the Bailrigg campus.

We are:

  • Simon Harrison, Enterprise Programme Manager
  • Amanda Brooks, Learner Development Manager
  • Rachel Cox, Business Development Manager
  • Chessie Bennett, Enterprise Programme Officer
  • Laura Liver, Enterprise Programme Officer
  • Niki Swaffield, U Start Project Manager
  • Helen Atherton, U Start Assistant Project Manager
  • Rachel Lord, U Start Project Administrator

Our Partners & Funders

Lancaster University Enterprise Team is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to deliver the U Start project in partnership with UCLan, with additional funding from the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF). U Start seeks to increase the number of University-affiliated businesses based in Lancashire as a contribution to regional economic growth.

Our other partners and funders are:

University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

U Start is a partnership project, delivered with the Propeller team at UCLan, which means each institution is able to extend its support to each other’s students and other beneficiaries. To connect directly with the Propeller team, please email

Santander Universities

Lancaster University is has a strategic partnership with Santander Universities which includes financial support for start-ups, through pitch awards, funded internships and access to exclusive opportunities alongside other partner institutions.

Enterprise Educators UK

Lancaster University is proud to be members of EEUK, the representative and lobbying body for the collective enterprise education community in the UK. This membership means Lancaster staff can attend EEUK networking and practice sharing events, such as the International Enterprise Education Conference, free of charge.

One Lancaster

Work in Progress is member of Lancaster University’s own engagement and knowledge exchange community, and adds value to this by ensuring all our students are equipped to act as ambassadors and change agents through a range of industrial interactions, including consultancy projects and placements. For more information about how to access these opportunities for your organisation, please connect with our Gateway Manager.

Hello Future

Work in Progress works closely with Lancaster University’s Careers Service, Hello Future. All of our develop opportunities contribute essential employability experience, skills and commercial awareness towards the Lancaster Award.


Work in Progress is Lancaster’s provider of entrepreneurial learning and innovation opportunities, but it collaborates wherever possible with its counterparts on our global network of partner campuses, including iLabs in Sunway University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to make opportunities accessible to Lancaster students worldwide.

Lancaster City Council Business Support Hub

Work in Progress is proud to be a member of this network of partners supporting start-up and business innovation within the district. Other members include the Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses and Lancaster District CVS.

Boost Lancashire

Work in Progress is a partner in the wider region’s business support ecosystem, co-ordinated by the Growth Hub, Boost, who showcase a wealth of complementary activities.

Privacy Statement

Please read the following if you are concerned about our use of data.


We maintain a record of enquirers names and contact information in order to be able to log the enquiry and provide a relevant and timely response, and to be able to analyse enquiries data to improve our service.

If you are a student at Lancaster, you have already given the University permission to maintain a complete personal record, including your year and programme of study. As University staff members, we have access to these records and access them in order to analyse engagement data to improve our service.


We require all participants in our activities to 'sign in' and provide a name, email, address and, in the case of in-person events, a signature. This is a contractual requirement of our public funding through ERDF in order to prove that a) we delivered something, and b) people attended it.

If it is a physical event, the sign-in sheet will be kept on file in a secure office with all other project documentation for a minimum of 10 years following the end of the European programme (currently 2022). All physical and electronic documents with your information are kept securely and sensibly, in line with the University’s data protection policies and measures.


We regularly take photographs at our events, online and in-person, in order to demonstrate to our funder that the event ran and people attended. We may also use these events for publicity purposes, such as for social media. If you do not wish to be photographed, please inform a member of the team before or during the event.


We may require you to complete one or more registration forms as additional evidence that we have supported you through our ERDF funding. These are treated the same as sign-in evidence.

Ongoing communications

When you sign in to one of our activties, or directly sign up to our mailing list, you are granting us permission to contact you with information we deem relevant to your needs or interests. This may be in the format of our regular e-newsletter, or directly by personalised email.

The newsletter contains information about upcoming events & activities, links to information and opportunities, and stories from our student entrepreneurs and innovators.

You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time.


With the exception of the data contained on the ERDF paperwork that we are obliged to provide to our funder, we will never share your personal information with third-parties without your express permission.

If you have any concerns or questions relating to the U Start Data Protection Terms & Conditions, please contact us at

To find out more please visit the University's Privacy Notices webpage.

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