Challenging Graduate Career Opportunities

28 01 2009

Graduates are facing a very tough jobs market. The ‘Class of 2009’ has already had to contend with gloomy predictions of a serious shortfall in the number of graduate jobs available when they finish their degrees this year. But it’s not all gloom and doom if you’re creative and entrepreneurial.

Some of the more entrepreneurial graduates in sectors where competition for jobs is fiercest are already taking defensive action to create their own start-ups. The NCGE’s Flying Start Programme for the Creative Industries, held in Bournemouth earlier this month, received over 100 applications for 33 places from as far north as Yorkshire.

Graduates chasing vacancies at the UK’s largest recruiters will find fewer opportunities on average. High Fliers Research, whose 14th January report – The Graduate Market in 2009 – surveyed 100 firms, found that recruitment targets have been cut by 17% for this year since the latest graduate recruitment round began in September 2008.

Last year graduate recruitment fell by 6.7% rather than rising by the 11.8% predicted by the recruiters themselves. Banking and finance were particularly badly hit. Skilled staff taken on by leading firms will drop by 7,000 to around 33,000 this year.

Mike Hill, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HESCU) and Graduate Prospects, said recently: “Graduates should not panic. There are lots of jobs out there, but they will be harder to get because more people will be going for them.

“There are more jobs for graduates now than there were 10 years ago,” he added. It is also important, Mike recommends, for HR managers to take a long-term view when faced with current financial pressures. “When we emerge from this recession we will need all the talent we can muster.”

Some areas are bucking the trend, according to the High Fliers research report. There are now 51% more entry-level positions for graduates in the public sector and 17% more roles in the Armed Forces. Accountancy remains a strong prospect, preparing to offer 20.9% of all graduate jobs in 2009.

A BBC Briefing for concerned graduates listed seven top tips from HESCU and Graduate Prospects include:

  • Take advice
  • Broaden your horizons to related professions
  • Consider paid or unpaid work experience
  • Do not be too proud to use contacts to get a first break
  • Do not be too proud to take a job you think may be beneath you
  • Be imaginative

and

  • Consider setting up your own business.

Seasoned entrepreneur Sir David Tang has criticised global pessimism in the face of recession. In a recent opinion piece he recommended we shed negativity and think about finding solutions. He called on governments to force banks to lend to small businesses.

The Government is taking action on a number of fronts. In addition to its recent support package for small businesses, a new campaign – Science: So What? (So Everything) – launched today at 10 Downing Street underlines the continuing need for science, technology, engineering and maths subject areas among many graduate employers. Technology and innovation are seen as key drivers for economic recovery.

Meanwhile, Professor Dame Wendy Hall is spearheading another campaign by the Royal Academy of Engineering to attract more engineers from diverse backgrounds. She said: “The financial turmoil and the recession actually give us a huge opportunity to entice people who have studied engineering and science away from the City and back into innovating for the future, which is where they are badly needed.”

For those graduates among the 400,000 due to graduate this year who remain unemployed for more than six months, it has been reported that DIUS Minister John Denham is proposing paid three-month internships with leading firms and is inviting more of all sizes, and from the public and voluntary sectors, to take part. But details are still being worked out.

In the Government’s New Opportunities White Paper, it was also announced last week that a more streamlined package of support for those unemployed for six months or more pursuing self-employment is to be introduced.





Government Finance Boost For Businesses

14 01 2009

The Government has today launched an £11 billion package of support to address the cash flow, credit and capital needs of UK businesses. At its centre is a mechanism that will enable banks to refinance around £20 billion of debt due for repayment this year by medium sized companies.

This package of measures to provide stimulus and support to business puts into operation and builds upon commitments made in the Pre-Budget Report on 24 November.

It provides:

  • £75m capital (£50m from HMG and £25m from banks) fund to invest in businesses who need equity or quasi equity;
  • £1bn of guarantees supporting £1.3bn of lending to smaller businesses;
  • Up to £10bn of guarantees supporting £20bn of working capital.

Capital for Enterprise Fund

The Chancellor announced in the Pre-Budget Report a £50 million debt for equity fund. Government is announcing today that this Capital for Enterprise Fund will provide £75 million of equity, made up £50 million of Government funds and an additional £25 million from Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and RBS.

The purpose of the fund will be to provide equity and quasi equity of £250,000 to £2 million for companies under the EU SME definition, i.e. of turnover of up to €50 million, who have viable business models and growth potential in need of long term capital.

Enterprise Finance Guarantee

In the Pre-Budget Report, the Chancellor announced a £1 billion Small Business Finance Scheme. Today, this goes live as the Enterprise Finance Guarantee.

This 75% guarantee for loans will support bank lending, of three months to ten year maturity, to businesses with a turnover of up to £25 million who are currently not easily able to access the finance they need. This will enable them to secure loans of between £1,000 and £1 million through the government guarantee, available up to 31 March 2010.

The guarantee will be available through the following high street banks from today – Barclays, Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank, HBOS, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, RBS/Natwest and Northern Bank. It will become available from other lenders if they wish to apply.

Working Capital Scheme

The Government also announced in its Pre-Budget Report a working capital scheme for smaller exporters. Based on the risk analysis done since that announcement it believes that the model can be expanded for working capital guarantees for all firms of turnover of up to £500 million. So the Government is today ready to make available to banks guarantees of up to £10 billion for up to 50% of the working capital on a £20 billion portfolio of loans.

Banks are invited to submit their portfolio of existing and projected new or refinance loans for approval under the guarantee. We have received declarations of interest by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and RBS. With the support of participating banks, we hope the first £1 billion guarantee tranche of the scheme should be operational by 1 March. Use of this facility will of course be subject to final terms guaranteeing value for money.

By guaranteeing portfolios of working capital facilities, this package will release capital held by the banks against these portfolios.  The banks have agreed they will make commitments to re-deploy this capital in order to increase all types of lending above their current plans, to businesses with a turnover of less than £500 m. The guarantee will ensure banks do not reduce or withdraw working capital lines on renewal which, being short term, can be easy to cut. It will also ensure that there is new capacity by banks to lend to UK businesses, who are suffering from the withdrawal of certain lenders from the market.

Information on all this support can be accessed via a dedicated web portal at www.businesslink.gov.uk/realhelp. This provides details including contact names and numbers for each bank and for the local Business Link. To register interest for the Capital For Enterprise Fund, businesses should call 0845 459 9780.

Additional options are being explored to provide further backing.

Time to Pay

As announced in the Pre-Budget Report, since last November, businesses experiencing cash flow difficulties can also get help from the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Business Support Service.  Businesses worried about being able to meet tax, National Insurance, VAT or other payments owed or coming due to HMRC can call the Business Payment Support Line, seven days a week, on 0845 302 1435.

HMRC staff will review temporary options tailored to the business needs, such as arranging for payments to be made over a longer period. HMRC will not charge additional late payment surcharges on payments included in the arrangement, although interest will continue to be payable on those taxes where it applies.  This is one more way in which Government is providing real help for businesses to manage their cashflow and free up working capital they need.

Credit Insurance

The Government is committed to targeted support for businesses to help them through the current economic climate. Reduction of credit insurance can exacerbate financial difficulties already being felt by firms, so BERR is discussing with trade credit insurance providers a government scheme to help companies affected by reductions in their credit insurance. There will be a further announcement on this as it progresses.

BERR Minister Lord Mandelson said: “The Government will continue to support and provide funding and capital to the bank system to ensure that banks are able to support businesses.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy – employing  60% of the private sector workforce and contributing over 50% of UK turnover.   We remain committed to doing everything we can to help them through the current economic difficulties.”





University ‘Challenge’ Pupils Compete In London Regional Final

28 11 2008

Hundreds joined Flying Start events for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2008. The NCGE – in partnership with Make Your Mark and university hosts – held seven Flying Start Rallies, four Flying Start-Make Your Mark Challenge events for schools, and the first international online speed networking event for student entrepreneurship club representatives.

Pupils from Langdon School in East Ham who attended one of the Flying Start-Make Your Mark Challenge events hosted by a university did so well they made it into the London Regional Final for the 14-16 age group. They will compete today against 19 other school teams from London. Good luck to them!

     Lord Bilimoria with pupils from Langdon School. A team from there will compete today in the London Regional Final of the Make Your Mark Challenge.

Lord Bilimoria with pupils from Langdon School. A team from there will compete today in the London Regional Final of the Make Your Mark Challenge.

The NCGE’s National Champion for Graduate Entrepreneurship, Cobra Beer founder Lord Bilimoria, got their week off to a flying start at London Metropolitan University. He gave an inspirational talk and question-and-answer session for 50 students from Uxbridge College and Langdon School, as well as London Met students, staff from the Business School hosting the Challenge, and volunteers from successful businesses.

The school and college students, aged from 14-19, had been set the Challenge first thing in the morning along with 55,000 other pupils across the UK. What made this Challenge different was that they experts from the Business School on hand to encourage their ideas.

Dr Lorna Collins, the NCGE’s Director of Flying Start, and Harry Rich, Chief Executive of Make Your Mark, were on hand to mark the launch of this first event bringing schoolchildren into universities for the national Challenge.

London Metropolitan Vice-Chancellor Brian Roper and Bob Morgan, Head of London Metropolitan’s Business School, introduced this year’s Challenge, to create an entrepreneurial idea based on seven Olympic and Paralympic values:

• Respect – What or who do you respect, and why?
• Excellence – What inspires you to excellence?
• Friendship – What does friendship look and feel like?
• Courage – What makes someone courageous?
• Determination – What requires determination? What brings it out of you?
• Equality – Do you know equality? Have you experienced inequality?
• Inspiration – What inspires you? Can you think how to inspire others?

Since London Met is the capital’s leading university for sports and is closely involved in preparing for the 2012 London Olympics, the Vice-Chancellor offered an additional prize for the Challenge to support the development of the best Olympics focused business idea.

After a show of creative energy in their initial brainstorming session, the students got to meet one of the country’s leading entrepreneurs. Lord Bilimoria asked first how many in the room wanted to start a business. At least half put their hands up. “The most important thing you need to start a business,” he said, “is to really want to start it.”

Next he addressed worries about the economy. “An interviewer this morning asked me: ‘How can you encourage people to start businesses when we’re in a recession?’ I said ‘I started my business at the start of the last recession!’ The first consignment of Cobra Beer arrived at Southampton from Bangalore in June 1990.” He stressed how much the country needs new businesses and talented entrepreneurs.

Finally he asked how many of the students intended to go to university. Three-quarters of the audience raised their hands. “I resisted the temptation to start a business straightaway,” he said. “I wanted to get my education first. That knowledge has served me well.”

The view that university is irrelevant to entrepreneurs is changing, according to Lord Bilimoria. “The purpose of the NCGE, for which I am the National Champion, is to encourage all students from any university background to start a business.” He’s proud to have persuaded famous entrepreneurs who said education isn’t necessary to change their minds.

The students asked lots of great questions and left after lunch buzzing, ready to get on with the Challenge in their teams.

Three other universities – Bournemouth, Greenwich and Leeds Metropolitan – invited schoolchildren to visit them for a ‘university’ Challenge. This is something Flying Start and Make Your Mark hope to extend even further next year.

Altogether over 700 people registered for Flying Start during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Over 300 University of Derby students were involved in Entrepreneurship Week activities organised in partnership with the University of Derby’s Careers Service.

Christine Dare, Gemma Palmer and the Derby team worked tirelessly alongside the Flying Start team to organise the events, and experts Dave Morgan from UKIPO, Neil Butler from Companies House, Tim Benson from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and Luke Aikman from Bristol Developers were there to deliver a series of stimulating workshops.

Many new members have now joined the redesigned and enhanced flyingstartonline.com web support system for student and graduate entrepreneurs. They will be kept informed about the latest opportunities – such as the Flying Start Software Entrepreneurship Programme backed by Microsoft in mid December (application deadline Monday 1 December at 5pm) – so that they can make their business ideas a reality.

Simon Phelps with his FLOODSTOP barrier.

Simon Phelps with his FLOODSTOP barrier.

On Thursday morning, Flying Start Global Entrepreneur Simon Phelps was invited to 10 Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister. Simon was one of ten business owners asked to provide an insight into how the economic downturn is affecting trading conditions.

In 2007, Simon became one of the first of this country’s most promising graduate entrepreneurs to be funded by the NCGE to travel to the United States and experience how enterprise and entrepreneurship is encouraged there.

The six months he spent there, hosted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, were influential in helping him develop his business. “The time with my US mentors during my internship has been invaluable, they have provided me with amazing insight and advice which really helped me make headway with the progress of Fluvial Innovations Ltd,” he said.

Simon’s multifunctional FLOODSTOP barrier is now being tested and used very effectively by local authorities, in the Environment Agency’s southern region, and a flood-prone domestic property.





New Networks Launched To Boost University Entrepreneurship

21 11 2008

Baroness Shriti Vadera, Minister for Economic Competitiveness and Small Business, with (from left) Malcolm McVicar, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire; David Frost, Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce and Chair of the NCGE; and NCGE Chief Executive Ian Robertson.

Baroness Shriti Vadera, Minister for Economic Competitiveness and Small Business, with (from left) Malcolm McVicar, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire; David Frost, Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce and Chair of the NCGE; and NCGE Chief Executive Ian Robertson.

Around 100,000 students and graduates will get the chance to develop world-class skills as entrepreneurs and business leaders with the launch of the first University Enterprise Networks (UENs).

Shriti Vadera, Minister for Economic Competitiveness and Small Business launched the Networks at a reception at the Microsoft Offices in London yesterday, Thursday 20 November, as part of Global Entrepreneurship week.

These Networks are the first of their kind and will focus on the areas of science, technology, engineering, maths (STEM), Innovation and the Nuclear sector. The networks will be managed by the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE).

The UENs will aim to establish a culture of enterprise in universities by providing training, advice and encouragement to students and graduates who want to develop their business ideas or wish to become innovative employees. Each network will be further supported by sponsorship from privately owned companies and Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). This will give students first hand experience of enterprising workplaces.

The UENs follow on from a commitment made by the Government in its Enterprise Strategy to further promote and support the development of enterprise.

Shriti Vadera, Minister for Economic Competitiveness and Small Business, said:

“Making graduates more business savvy and entrepreneurial is essential to Britain’s long term competitiveness.

“I would like to see more University Enterprise Networks between businesses and investors to encourage this”.

David Lammy, Minister of State for Higher Education said:

“We need stronger links between business and higher education so that we can make full use of the expertise and talents within our universities and colleges.

“University Enterprise Networks are a new kind of partnership that will nurture the enterprise skills and entrepreneurial spirit of tomorrow’s business leaders, while also helping universities engage more closely with the needs of employers today.”

Ian Robertson, Chief Executive of the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship, said:

“The NCGE welcomes the commitment from companies, RDAs and universities in working with us to build the first University Enterprise Networks announced today. These networks will act as a catalyst for closer engagement between business, universities and the public sector, to respond to industry needs and contribute to UK competitiveness.”

“The NCGE’s role is to set up and manage the UENs in order that they create the right conditions for better, more responsive collaboration. The UENs will also ensure more students and graduates acquire the skills for enterprise and entrepreneurship they need to achieve business growth, whether as employees or in starting and running their own businesses.”

Pam Alexander, Chief Executive of SEEDA, speaking on behalf of the Regional Development Agencies involved in the UENs said:

“Regional Development Agencies are delighted to be involved in developing these exciting new University Enterprise Networks, which complement our important work to link universities and businesses and create the skills needed to emerge from the economic downturn stronger and better able to compete globally.”

Stephen Uden, Microsoft UK’s Head of Skills and Economic Affairs, added:

“We are looking at a long period of economic uncertainty. That doesn’t mean that business doesn’t go on, or that there won’t be opportunities for those who can take advantage of them. What it does mean though is that those leaving university need to have the right skills to succeed”.

“Nearly half (48%) of the undergraduates we surveyed would consider starting their own business. That’s great, as small businesses are the engine room of the economy, and also where many of the many of the most innovative ideas come from. This announcement and the STEM network represent good progress in starting to change that view.”

The three University Enterprise Networks (UENs) announced yesterday were the STEM, Innovation, and Nuclear networks. The STEM UEN will be led by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) in collaboration with the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and sponsored by Microsoft and other major companies.

The first universities to express their commitment in principle are the universities of Cambridge, Cranfield, Hertfordshire, Oxford, Reading, and Southampton. SEEDA and EEDA will concentrate on technology based, high growth enterprises.

The Innovation UEN will be led by Advantage West Midlands (AWM) and supported by HP-backed Micro Enterprise Acceleration Institute, BT, and CISCO, with Coventry University. The UEN will focus on helping students understand how Web-based  Technologies can be exploited in the creation of new business ideas, and in helping small businesses collaborate with large co-operates in the development and launch of new products in the context of the “market”.

The Nuclear UEN will be led by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), and supported by Westinghouse UK. The first university to sign up to the network is the University of Central Lancashire. The Nuclear UEN will play a major role in helping graduates acquire the innovative skills that companies across the breadth of the nuclear sector seek.

A further fourth University Enterprise Network will be launched early in the New Year. The Manufacturing UEN. Led by the North West Development Agency (NWDA) will focus on “Advanced Manufacturing”.

The NCGE’s role will be to set up and manage the UENs in order that they create the right conditions for better, more responsive collaboration. The UENs will also ensure more students and graduates acquire the skills for enterprise and entrepreneurship they need to achieve business growth, whether as employees or in starting and running their own businesses.

For further information, see www.ncge.com/uen.





Entrepreneurial University of the Year Announced

23 10 2008
Nottingham winners collect their Award.

Nottingham winners collect their Award.

The University of Nottingham has been named the first ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008. Ian Robertson, Chief Executive of the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship, praised the success of Nottingham and also of Coventry, which was a close second and so was Highly Commended in the category.
“Choosing a single successful university was very difficult,” said Ian Robertson, “but entrepreneurialism was a clear and visible part of Nottingham’s culture. A very difficult decision was eased by the breadth and depth of that entrepreneurial culture at the University, from senior management through to staff and the student societies.”

Professor David Greenaway, the University of Nottingham’s new Vice-Chancellor, said: “Entrepreneurialism has always been embedded long-term at this university, reaching back to the work we have done with Boots for over a century. What pleases me most about this award is the way it reflects how our students embrace the qualities of the entrepreneur.

“At this point in time, such approaches to life and work are particularly important. In the past six weeks we have gone through an economic upheaval that happens perhaps once every 100 years. Part of how we react to this will be about individuals taking the initiative by being entrepreneurial. Higher education can contribute significantly to that sustainable future.”

“Coventry University impressed us tremendously as well,” said Ian Robertson from the NCGE. “Under the leadership of its Vice-Chancellor, enterprise has been placed at the strategic heart of the institution. Everyone who works there has a part to play in Coventry’s transformation and it is clearly investing in staff development – as well as taking a completely fresh look at how to support the enterprise needs of the world beyond the University.

“Coventry has a long history of working with local and regional stakeholders – government, the business community and local entrepreneurs – and the University is now developing an increasingly international perspective.”

Professor Madeleine Atkins, Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University, said: “Enterprise is core to everything we do – regionally, nationally and internationally – so it is immensely satisfying to gain recognition for our commitment to entrepreneurial activity by being ‘Highly Commended’ in the Times Higher ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ category.

“We have developed new programmes and introduced new staff posts to ensure that enterprise runs through every strand of our activity for all staff and students – and our recently launched Institute for Applied Entrepreneurship brings together our business support initiatives for students, alumni and the community for the first time.”

The NCGE was delighted to sponsor the Times Higher Education Award for Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2008. Entrepreneurial universities are vital if we are to sustain the UK’s economy and society. Put simply, an entrepreneurial university is a place where entrepreneurship is part of the fabric of the institution.

This new Award attracted 34 entries, the highest number ever for a new category at the prestigious Times Higher Education Awards. It demonstrates growing levels of entrepreneurialism throughout the higher education sector and the increased seriousness with which graduate entrepreneurship is being taken.

An entrepreneurial university is characterised by a number of key factors:

  • strong leadership that develops entrepreneurial capacities for all students and staff across its campus;
  • strong ties with its external stakeholders that deliver added value;
  • the delivery of entrepreneurial outcomes that make an impact to people and organisations;
  • innovative learning techniques that inspire entrepreneurial action;
  • open boundaries that encourage effective flows of knowledge between organisations;
  • multidisciplinary approaches to education that mimic real-world experience and  focus on solving complex world challenges;
  • and the drive to promote the application of entrepreneurial thinking and leadership.

All of the shortlisted universities have demonstrated these characteristics but the extent to which entrepreneurship is nurtured in UK higher education institutions as a whole varies.

An NCGE study – Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education – mapped the provision of enterprise and entrepreneurship in higher education in England last year, achieving a 96% response rate from 127 universities. On average the student engagement rate in enterprise and entrepreneurship in English universities is 11% so there is clearly opportunity for growth.

Business and management schools lead the way, with 61% of students exposed to enterprise and entrepreneurship opportunities. Other subjects fall a long way behind.

Overall, fewer than 50% of universities showed defined entrepreneurial characteristics – such as having an explicit enterprise policy, a pro vice-chancellor with responsibility for enterprise and entrepreneurship, staff development, curricula development, incubators for students, visiting entrepreneurs, start-up funds, and student enterprise clubs.

However, steady improvements are being made and the picture is healthier than it was a decade ago. Many universities already offer an impressive and sophisticated array of entrepreneurship development activities, but it is not always clear which institutional models and approaches really provide a sound platform for creating and sustaining the ‘Entrepreneurial University’.

The NCGE’s work is designed to help universities develop and embed these models and approaches. It actively identifies the practices that support effective entrepreneurship development and encourages institutions to build their capacity for this. The organisation also offers professional educator development and FlyingStart initiatives working directly with student and graduate entrepreneurs to support them in developing their businesses.





Eyes On The Prize

2 06 2008

Business competition entrants and winners can all benefit from opportunities to raise their company’s profile, generate press and publicity and communicate marketing messages. The advantages are two-way.

This Friday, 6 June, individuals actively supporting and promoting women entrepreneurs from all over the UK will attend the Prowess Awards 2008 in Birmingham to find out whether they’ve won a coveted award in one of eleven categories. The Government’s Minister for Women and Equality, Harriet Harman, recently said: “We need to encourage more women to take the plunge. Men are almost twice as likely as women to start a new business. That’s why we are determined to close this gap by providing solid support and encouragement.”

The Prowess Awards recognises the immense contribution successful women entrepreneurs are making to the UK economy.

Increasingly, competitions address the needs of specific economic sectors. The second annual Young Rural Entrepreneur of the Year Award has been launched, highlighting the enterprise needs of rural economies and the communities that depend on their success. By introducing a competitive element, businesses within a certain sector, or development agencies keen to revitalise sections of the economy, can begin to encourage start-ups and entrepreneurial businesses to flourish.

NCGE’s co-sponsorship with HSBC of the recent Unipreneurs competition, our backing for SEEDA’s MAD Ideas contest, focusing on social entrepreneurship, and the eagerly awaited Times Higher Education Award for ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ all provide incentives for graduate entrepreneurs to demonstrate their success and get noticed.

This year’s Unipreneurs winners – Luke Walsh, from the University of York, and Luke Jefferson, from UEA – met and launched their business, Scratchface, while they were both NCGE-Kauffman Flying Start Global Fellows. Competition judge Peter Jones, from TV’s Dragons’ Den, proclaimed the pair multimillionaires in the making.

Luke Walsh praised the impact of Flying Start and the Global Fellowship, offered in partnership with distinguished US entrepreneurship body the Kauffman Foundation. “The Fellowship has raised my expectations, goals and aspirations and given me the tools to go out and achieve those goals. It has given me the confidence to go out there and do it, and I have learned that having a good idea is only the start; it’s the execution of that idea which is critical.”

Entrepreneurial competitions open up access to a new network of fellow businesspeople and potential advisors, coaches and mentors. This injection of expertise and support could be a determinant of future success. Taking advantage of associated publicity can create a media connection that should invite follow-ups, so long as the stories retain news value. And winners may gain a much-needed cash bonus, such as the £20,000 cash prize Scratchface won in the Unipreneurs competition, at a major milestone on their business’s road to growth.





Launch of China/UK Entrepreneurship Educators Network

12 05 2008

The China-UK Entrepreneurship Educators Network will be launched this week in Hangzhou, China to coincide with the WUN Hangzhou China Enterprise Conference and is being supported by the British Council. The Network is a collaborative venture with NCGE’s Chinese partners: Shanghai Technology Entrepreneurship Foundation for Graduates (STEFG) and the Shanghai Institute for Foreign Trade (SIFT). The aim of the new Network is to impact on student and graduate entrepreneurship by engaging in effective collaboration between Chinese and UK institutions through exemplar education.

The Network members – entrepreneurship educators from Chinese and UK institutions – will exchange good practice, exchange staff and students, and develop joint programmes and materials for entrepreneurship educators. The Network will also link with the winners of the UK PMI2 awards in entrepreneurship and employability that are built around relationships between Chinese and UK Universities.

Key Network activities will include:

  • a collaborative IEEP China Programme to encourage co-operation and exchange between Chinese and UK education institutions.
  • a special programme and series of textbooks written for China and the UK will be launched and made available to all universities in China. The programme will focus on entrepreneurship educators in Chinese institutions and aims to provide the tools, models and materials that will enable them to grow entrepreneurship education across the tertiary sector in China.
  • STEFG and NCGE will create a China-UK Graduate Entrepreneurship Fellows Programme starting in January 2009. Initially five UK and five Chinese entrepreneurship graduates will trade places for a two month period.