What does your job involve? What do the Enterprise Team do?
The Enterprise Team at Lancaster supports all the University’s enterprising activity, this includes working with the staff who create opportunities for students to develop their own skills and innovative ideas, and delivering some of these opportunities ourselves. I run a small team in Research & Enterprise Services, part of the University that is mostly invisible to students but which collaborates with LUSU, Innovation Hub, Careers, Colleges, Societies, Faculties and Departments to make sure that everything on offer is as visible as possible. Every Weds afternoon we run an Enterprise Drop-in in the Base where do actually get to meet students and find out about their ideas and ambitions.
What opportunities do you have coming up next year that students could get involved in?
The next academic idea is really exciting for us as we’ve got lots of new things starting up. Students will be able to create and sell food products on campus; design a board game and take it to market; develop new businesses from Lancaster academics’ research; join emerging networks of tech, creative and social entrepreneurs; tap into funding to try out new ideas and become Student Enterprise Champions. All of this is on top of the huge range of opportunities already available, such as business start-up mentoring; support for freelancers and for international students applying for Graduate Entrepreneur Visas; building networks of contacts with alumni, businesses and community organisations, etc.
Do students need previous experience of enterprise and entrepreneurship before they can work with you?
Absolutely not. Universities should be places where students feel confident to take risks and try new things. If it fails, who cares? Just try to learn something along the way. None of us know what life is going to be like after university but we are pretty confident that it will take an enterprising mindset to make the most of it, to stand out from the crowd and to make sure you feel challenged, happy and fulfilled in whatever you do. We’re doing everything we can to equip our students for this from the day they start at Lancaster.
What can they do now if they want to know more?
We’ll be running a stall in Alexandra Square throughout week 9, along with the other Enterprise Partners I’ve mentioned above. Come along and talk to us about any of the above. Also, if you’re interested in starting a business at some point, we’re running our next Start-up Stories event on 11th June; come and meet our entrepreneurial alumni from all around the world and see what you can learn. In the meantime, come to the Drop-in, find us online, on Facebook, or drop us an email.