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University partnership ready to help new businesses make the right connections

A new collaboration is set to give student entrepreneurs a valuable networking boost as they launch their business ideas.

Swansea University’s School of Management and 4theRegion, the organisation which brings together regional businesses, community groups and change-makers across South West Wales, have teamed up to create Starting Up in the Region.

Thanks to a partnership between the 4theRegion and the University’s Enterprise Team, the student start-ups will have their membership fees paid for an entire year. This means they will be able to attend events and members’ forums as well as benefiting from the opportunity to network with the group’s 250 members and gain invaluable support on their doorstep.

The Enterprise Team, part of the University’s Research, Engagement & Innovation Services, has an enviable record when it comes to encouraging business brains and its dedicated team is delighted to have secured this additional support for budding entrepreneurs.

Swansea University Enterprise Officer Kelly Jordan said: “Education institutions are a breeding ground for innovation. They are where students from all over the world come and to learn, innovate and create.

“We want to build a community for our start-ups – somewhere where they feel connected and supported as they grow their businesses and ideas in the region.“

Smart partnership lead at the School of Management Sam Burvill said: “We have a proven track record of working with industry, the community and our students to enable regional development and innovation. This partnership is extremely exciting for all involved, especially for our inspirational student start-ups who we have no doubt will go on to achieve great things.”

Dawn Lyle, of 4thRegion, said: “As a region we need to do what we can to encourage and support start-ups and entrepreneurs. These are businesses and job creators of the future and vital to the future success of the region’s economy.

“We want to introduce these fantastic entrepreneurs to established businesses and potential customers across our region so they can feel part of a thriving business community from the very beginning.”

The new initiative comes just after Swansea was identified as the fourth best place in the UK to start up a new enterprise.

A high-profile survey by business website Startup Geek put the city well ahead of rivals such as Cardiff, Bristol or London - not least because of its high graduate retention rate. It also fared well when it came to cheap office space costs and five-year start-up survival rates.

Starting Up in the Region is open to any student who can join as a collaborator for as little as £5 a month.

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