Olympic lessons for entrepreneurs

Six things small businesses can learn from our Olympic athletes

Team GB are currently doing us proud over in Rio with their amazing strength, determination and perseverance to be the best at what they do.

Whilst the majority of us couldn’t hope to keep up in the velodrome , or run, swim or jump quite as fast, we do have something in common with these sportsmen and women. Entrepreneurs need to be resilient, brave and determined to taste success, and getting to the top can feel like a marathon or two.

So what lessons could we learn from our medal winning athletes?

Read more

Image:AFP/Getty Images

A CV of Failures

Would you include your failures and missed opportunities on your CV?

Johannes Haushofer is a Professor at Princeton University. He is very successful in his chosen career, but he’s also faced a multitude of failures along the way; something he openly admits in his recent CV of Failures which has gone viral around the world.

A CV is defined as “a short written description of your education, qualifications, previous jobs, and sometimes also your personal interests that you send to an employer when you are trying to get a job” and there are thousands of websites and resources which claim to teach you how to write a successful CV. But what is a successful CV? Is it one which lists your greatness and accomplishments, or should it be an honest account of what you have done, what you have failed at, the lessons you took from this, and what you have to offer to a potential employer? Should admitting our failures on a CV, or in a pitch, become the norm?

Johannes Haushofer shared his unusual CV in a bid to prove that failure is an unavoidable part of life and success is only half of the picture. In his CV, he lists the degree programmes he didn’t get on to, the awards, scholarships and funding he didn’t get, and his work which wasn’t published. At first glance we would assume that his success follows from a history of accomplishment and greatness; his failures are invisible to us. We don’t shout out about failure, so we presume others don’t suffer them which is why we always associate failure with ourselves, and success to others; understanding that there is more to someone’s story than what meets the eye is important and accepting that things will go wrong, we won’t always get what we want and failure is inevitable is refreshing and gives some perspective to our disappointment.  We’re consequently more committed and motivated to succeed and not repeat the same mistake.

Read more about the CV of Failure here.

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.

BIG Breakfast Networking Event

The ‘Big Breakfast’ Networking Event


Wednesday, 04 February 2015 | 8.30am – 10.30am | Lancaster House Hotel, Ellel, Lancaster, LA1 4GJ

Join the masses at this exclusive ‘Big Breakfast’ Networking Event and engage with a whole host of businesses from across the district.

This informal breakfast event is a perfect opportunity to make valuable connections with other business professionals, shout out about your business and inspire others.

Aaron Crewe, Managing Director of SEO 24/7 will be speaking about why it’s “Good practice to share business connections”, as well as encouraging people to engage with each other.
All attendees have the opportunity to bring along a banner to further promote their business.
Book today and be part of something BIG – it could be the perfect opportunity to grow your business!

Click here to book

Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards 2015

Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards


What Can I Win?

The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards offer a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the success of student and graduate entrepreneurs. Not only will the awards help secure cash investment to aid students with their ideas and businesses, but they will also provide the winners with valuable press coverage via the recognition received through this initiative. Winners will also then qualify for entry into the Santander Universities Enterprise Community programme.

The competition is open to students or recent graduates (within last two years), and entries can be from individuals or groups.

Undergrad prizes

  • 1st prize: £5,000
  • 2nd prize: £3,000
  • 3rd prize: £1,000

Postgrad prizes

  • 1st prize: £20,000
  • 2nd prize: £10,000
  • 3rd prize: £5,000

To enter you will need to submit a business plan by midday Monday 9th March.  The plans will then be shortlisted and evaluated by a panel and an entry for each category put forward to represent Lancaster University in the national competition .

Click here for more information: Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards Information Pack

All submissions should be emailed to enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk



It’s time to stop glamorising start-ups

The life of an entrepreneur is often seen as a whirl of glamour – all caffeine-fuelled late nights, glitzy product launches and awards dinners. The reality can be rather different..


It reckons Britain’s 4.9 million small business owners are spending more than 15 hours each week on admin tasks. That’s almost two full working days. Not so glamorous after all, especially when you think that this form-filling costs each small business £1,442 per week in lost productivity. To read more click here


New EU VAT rules threaten to kill UK micro firms


The EU’s new VAT MOSS rule, which is due to come into force on January 1, will create a #VATMESS and strangle innovation, say the UK’s small business owners.

Small businesses trading online are up in arms about a new EU regulation, which states that from 1 January 2015, VAT on digital products will be chargeable in the place of purchase rather than place of supply in the EU. To read more click here.

If you would like to campaign against this click here

Turning Your Hobby Into A Business

candle hobby

How do you turn your hobby into a business? Read more to find out how Alice Brown and Tom Green transformed their sideline of making candles at home into supplying the high street. click here


Show us YOUR handshake selfie


Shake Hands and share plans!

Global Entrepreneurship Week is only one week away and we’re using this campaign to show the world that the Lancaster University is a campus of networkers. Give us a hand – share your handshake selfie!

This time next week we will have kicked off festivities with ‘Battle of the Colleges’ and’ Fail Forward‘ the official opening event is  Monday 17th November 6pm – 9pm. Many more activities will be taking place all week, all across campus. Full details on the GEW2014 programme here.

We want to see your global connections and we want to know how events you have attended have helped you meet people,  get inspired, learn new skills and develop your ideas.

Don’t be quiet about it, we want to know who you’ve had great conversations with. Take a handshake selfie and share it on any social media channel using #GEWConnect. We’ll pick our favourite selfies to share at the end of the week.

Youth Business International, organisers or Global Entrepreneurship in the UK are offering a prize for the person that bags the best entrepreneurship handshake selfie shot. Who’s your handshake selfie no.1? Did you catch a Big Fish? Or maybe even a Dragon? From old friends to new connections, tweet your pics!

Booking is on Target Connect. Search under ‘event type’ for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014.

Why don’t we talk about Failure?

FF LogoAre you scared of trying something new today? What is it and how might you embrace failure to find your true passions?

On Monday 17th November ‘Fail Forward’  is the grand opening event for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014 at Lancaster University.

Lancaster student Oli Monks is coordinating a showcase of people who have learned from failure and embrace it as an inevitable ingredient of success; in fact the comforting reality is that failure is on route to finding your passions and success in life.

In this post and media clip “Why I Want my Kids to Fail” Alexander Osterwalder PhD, writer and entrepreneur talks about  how failures in his own life turned out to be positive for his development and career.

‘Why don’t we talk about failure?

Everyone has lived it but no one wants to speak about it. We’re ashamed by our past failures and have trained our memory to only retain moments of success. We look up to thought leaders and are inspired by their flawless track record. But should we be? Should we really be inspired by those who deep inside are scared of admitting they’ve sucked at something before becoming masters at it? Should we look up to those who fear to venture into something new because they might fail and look incompetent?

The topic of failure is less of a taboo today though. We’ve embraced the startup mantra of “failing cheap and failing quickly” and have seen communities sharing stories about failures to tap into collective learning at events such as the Failcon conferences. But we are not trained to embrace failure. We’re just barely working on letting go of that fear of looking inept in everyone else’s eyes, and we still don’t know how to teach our kids to fail.

Alex’s failures

Alex mentions he failed to get in McKinsey & Company, a leading consulting firm. He also failed his first year of business school and instead learned about questioning how people think in his political sciences program. Alex learned he didn’t want to be an accountant when he ventured in a nonprofit job in Thailand. These failures shaped what he is today: a passionate thought leader building tools and introducing revolutionary methodologies in the traditional corporate world.

In spite of the success of Business Model Generation, his visual and practical bestseller that stood out in the traditional book market and made more than a million sales, Alex and his co-authors are now taking the risk of failing as they’re trying something completely unseen in the business world: making people use digital tools. With Strategyzer’s upcoming book, Value Proposition Design, Alex and his co-authors want business executives to use strategy & innovation processes through computer-aided design, just like architects and engineers. Value Proposition Design will be the first book to offer online learning, PDFs, exercises, and templates on Strategyzer.com.

Failure helps you find your passion

Are you scared that you might just blow things up if you try, and be judged by others around you? Well, you might actually fail and indeed not look very smart. You might try once, twice, and still fail. But as you learn to accept failure and learn about your own case, you’ll adapt and find something that works, something that you’re passionate about. Striving to find that passion, learning from any kind of experience and taming our fear of failure is how we should teach our kids to fail today.’

Register for the Fail Forward Event at Lancaster University here.