Win £10,000 for your business
Varsity Pitch 2018 hosted by NACUE and Tata is on the hunt for the best student and graduate business ideas across the UK. The competition involves three stages including a public vote, bootcamp and grand final. Up for grabs is a £10,000 equity free cash prize, a chance to practice your pitching and opportunity for networking.
The competition is open to any current students at a UK university or college or anyone who has graduated after 2013. There are a number of different categories which can be entered – to find our more and apply visit the NACUE website.
Ethical business is booming
The ethical goods market in the UK has quadrupled in size since 2000 and millennials appear more willing to pay for and choose brands doing social or environmental good. However, making money ethically is not always easy, many will not have profit at the forefront of their minds but as chief exec of Cafédirect John Steel explains, ‘financial sustainability is paramount.’ Other aspects such as recruiting the right people, who share the same values as the business are also vital.
The article is a very interesting read with a number of ethical business examples discussed, including the Big Issue, the Ethical Landlords Association and Brighton supermarket hiSbe. You can read the full article on The Guardian’s website.
Do you have an eco social enterprise?
The School for Social Entrepreneurs North West in association with the Blackburn House BEE You Project have announced a practical 6 month startup programme starting in October, aimed to help eco-social enterprises to grow their ventures.
The scheme is open to 16-24 year olds from across the North West with enterprises tackling everyday environmental challenges such as food waste, green energy, community gardening, protection of wild habitats, sustainable fashion and green tech. To apply your idea must be a tested or existing social enterprise that has been running for less than 3 years, making less that £15,000.
Application deadline: 4pm, 23rd July
To find out more and download an application pack click here.
Are you preparing to move into graduate employment and want to make sure you can stand our from the crowd? Do you like cake?
Commercial Awareness is increasingly cited by graduate employers as an essential competency when seeking new employees. Commercial Awareness for Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) is a short workshop that will accelerate your understanding of how their businesses work and give you the insights to show how you can make a difference as their latest recruit.
By the end of this session you will:
- Understand why Commercial Awareness is so important to graduate employers
- Understand what a Business or Value Model is and how you can apply it to your job seeking activities
- Have practised analysing the Business Model of a popular graduate employer or on-campus company
- Have practised analysing the Business Model of an employer that you are interested in
- Have enjoyed eating some cake.
The session will be led by Lyndsey Egerton, Student Opportunities & Skills Developer, from the University’s Careers service. She will draw on the Business Model Canvas as a framework for designing, analysing and describing Business Models for organisations of all sizes, in all industries and sectors. If you are preparing generally for employment, or have a particular employer you are hoping to impress, the insights gained in this session could help you to stand out from other candidates.
If you are not graduating this time but would like to attend to develop your Commercial Awareness, please register as normal.
When? Thursday 7th June, 1:30-3:30pm
Where? Bowland North Seminar Room 23
Book on Target Connect
Applications for 2018 now open!
The UK Social Enterprise Awards recognise organisations for their business excellence and contribution to society, as well as the achievements of people working at the heart of the sector. There are a range of categories including some which investors, corporates, public sector bodies and charities can also apply for.
Find out more and apply through the Social Enterprise UK website.
The Enterprise Team would like to invite students, staff and alumni to attend a special panel event with three of Lancaster University’s Entrepreneurs in Residence. The session will be run as a Q&A, so come prepared to quiz the panel, find out about their experiences and ask for advice on setting up your own venture! Even though the entrepreneurs run businesses predominantly in the engineering and IT sectors, their knowledge about what it takes to run and start up a successful business will be valuable to all aspiring entrepreneurs.
Sitting on the panel will be:
Michael Hill (Managing Director of Optima Control Solutions)
Optima Control Solutions is an expert industrial control systems company, supplying systems and services to companies from multiple sectors, in numerous countries, helping them to improve their processes, productivity and ultimately their profitability.
Andy Hooper (Managing Director of Westlakes Engineering)
Westlakes Engineering is a consultancy providing civil, structural , environmental and attraction safety services. The company has grown quickly since it started in 2004, by establishing a reputation for providing a high quality, professional service to a wide range of clients.
Mark Shepherd (Managing Director of Vertigo Solutions Ltd)
Mark has had a varied career in catering, engineering and even 12 years as a Police Officer – all this before setting up his own IT company. Vertigo Solutions Ltd provide a variety of IT support solutions to a range of markets from manufacturing to education and healthcare.
When? Friday 18th May, 1-3pm
Where? Learning Zone Pod 4
Secure your space on the session by booking through Target Connect.
Come along to pick up some tips and learn from those who have been there and done it!
Looking for advice from experienced entrepreneurs for your startup?
Considering starting a business within the food industry?
Ready to start hiring people to your startup?
Come and seek advice from experienced entrepreneurs within the recruitment and food sector who have been there and done it!
We are excited to welcome two entrepreneurs next week for open discussions about their experiences in business and to share their advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Take a look at Wayne and Michelle’s profiles below and follow the Target Connect links to book onto either (or both!) of the sessions. Both sessions will take place in Learning Zone Pod 4.
Wayne Brophy (Managing Director of Cast UK)
Thursday 10th May, 1:30-3pm
Once Wayne got a taste for working in recruitment for a large firm he soon realised that he could make quicker strides forward working for himself and thus founded Cast UK in 2005. Cast UK are a specialist recruitment consultancy focusing on roles within procurement, purchasing, supply chain, logistics & transport. The company has grown year on year and now employs 30 people, with plans to double that number by the end of the year!
Book on Target Connect
Michelle Partington (Director of Shellys Drinks & Founder and Company Director of Lakeland Picnic)
Friday 11th May, 3-4:30pm
Michelle Partington founded Lakeland Picnic in 2006. Based in the Lake District, the aim of the company was to provide simple and delicious food through the use of some of the finest regional ingredients; served in street locations with a thoughtful and considered approach to customer needs. Michelle has also more recently established Shellys Drinks Ltd – originators of blended alcoholic drinks, supplying retailers and bars.
Book on Target Connect
Coffee and a chat with an experienced entrepreneur
This week sees the first of our new weekly Enterprise ‘Clinics’ with entrepreneur Richard Baguley (LinkedIn).
Richard is Managing Director of GDR Public Relations and has 25 years’ experience in the PR & Communications industry for major blue chip brands. Richard is also a part-time tutor within the Lancaster University Management School.
This drop-in session will be a chance for you to come along and pick Richard’s brains – whatever stage you may be at please come along to have a chat with Richard about your idea, seek advice or discuss your progress.
We are looking to host this clinic with Richard on a weekly basis, rotating around campus locations. This week it will be hosted in Bowland Bar on Friday (4th May), 2-4pm. Let us know if you’re coming via email or Target Connect! Future dates will be added to our calendar as and when they are confirmed.
Coffees are on Richard!
Graduate entrepreneur, Nadeem Khan to share LinkedIn top tips
Recent Masters graduate, Nadeem Khan, Founder of Optimizhr will be joining us to share his top tips for using LinkedIn to make a positive impression to clients.
When? Tuesday 8th May, 3-4pm
Where? Learning Zone Pod 3
Book a space through Target Connect.
Take a moment to think about the impression that you want to create of yourself on the rest of the world. Then for a second the impression that you already have created?
Today digital media has transformed the way we work, eat, move, walk, talk and live. Our lives as I write these words create a digital footprint of me, who I am, my likes, dislikes essentially enabling me to create a personality profile. So anyone in the world who doesn’t know much about me can simply Google my name and find out more or less that what I have already made available on the worldwide web. Whether we like it or not these posts can stick around for a long-long time so how can we control what we post or should we be controlling them?
As you enter the professional world, you are likely to be screened according to your digital footprint and that’s when things can go haywire for you. There are therefore two personalities with your name, one the obvious you and the second the digital one that you create for your audience so be sure that you create a good one. Nevertheless, if you manage to create a good one, you also must make sure that the real you is synced to it as in the real word its only ‘authenticity’ that counts and can lead you to create trust and ultimately win!
This session will cover tips and tricks to optimise your social media profiles to position yourself positively in front of clients I.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.