November, 14th-20th 2016 was Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), the world’s largest celebration of enterprise. As a partner, Swansea University took part in a number of different activities throughout the week which the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IfEL) was instrumental in planning.
In total, IfEL engaged with over 1500 students and empowered a further 196 to get involved with future enterprise activities. Overall, the University excelled itself, reaching 2nd in the world on the GEW leader board for the number of events/activities held that relate to business or enterprise.
There was an event for everything, from helping students develop their business skills and knowledge to competing for prize money to help get student businesses up and running.
One of the main events was IfEL’s annual staple event, ‘The Startup Market’, which was held on Wednesday November 16th at the University’s School of Management. The event was a fantastic opportunity for students to display their business ideas in a market stall setup to a variety of mystery shoppers and judges who were on hand throughout the day to network and share business tips and experience with our budding entrepreneurs.
The event was opened by Jill Burgess, an award-winning businesswoman and member of the Swansea University Council, and brought to a close by the Director of IfEL, Professor Paul Hannon. We had over 25 student businesses on display from Swansea University, Pentrehafod School and Cefn Hengoed Community School. There was a great mix of business ideas on show ranging from smoothie making to furniture importing. There were also a range of technology on display, from fitness to safety apps.
The winners on the day were a group of second year business students promoting their Uni-Fy app which combines and streamlines all information relevant to students such as timetables, events, etc. Professor Paul Hannon presented Uni-Fy with Amazon vouchers as well as the opportunity to have 6 months one-to-one support with our business/enterprise team to help get their business prototype up and running. The event was a great success and a brilliant opportunity to showcase how entrepreneurial students of all ages in Wales/Swansea are.
Another high profile event run in collaboration with the College of Engineering and The Prince’s Foundation was ‘The Social Enterprise Challenge’. Students with business ideas which benefit society were encouraged to put business plans together and present them to a panel of expert judges on the evening of Thursday November 17th to compete for a prize fund. The competition was extremely high and there were some exceptional business ideas pitched. On the night the top three business pitches were awarded £5000, £3000 and £1000 respectively from the Prince’s Foundation to help kick-start their ventures.
IfEL’s Enterprise Manager, David Bolton, stated that “The week was a great success and it was fantastic to showcase just how entrepreneurial Swansea University is” adding that it “couldn’t have been achieved without all of the valued support from fellow staff and students”.
GEW is always a busy time for IfEL but it’s not the only time we focus on enterprise here at Swansea University. We organise events/activities and offer one-to-one business support to students all year round.
- Friday 3 March 2017 13.10 GMT
- Friday 3 March 2017 10.58 GMT
- James Pack, Tel: 01792 606410