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MemberSeptember 28, 2021 at 8:53 am
A really positive example of the right approach is University of Buckingham (UB), who insist that business students must set up and run a business to be eligible to graduate. UNpreneur is currently adding value to this, and the other existing enterprise initiatives at UB, by delivering fortnightly business seminars, on an extra-curricular basis, and hosting 1-2-1s – “Impact Mentoring” – with students who have started or wish to launch their own business. These Impact Mentoring sessions identify and support the learner’s specific business and individual needs.
Enterprise provision across the UK is incredibly variable. Some institutions we’ve engaged with have departments comprising tens of people to support their students. Others have a small team who work on these activities as part of a wider remit. We find sharing this information helps them understand how they compare. In today’s environment, having a well-regarded enterprise offering could give an institution a real competition edge.
Some teams are lucky and have members of staff or alumni with business backgrounds who are available to advise on the challenges of starting up. Putting relatable business owners in front of students to inspire them is one of the ways UNpreneur can help. Often the biggest barrier to starting is the student/graduate mindset that they are not ready. Having someone from a similar background to them, someone they can relate to and aspire to become, is very powerful.