Category Archives: Blog

Wow an Audience

Santander Universities Enterprise Portal

Santander have recently launched the ‘Santander Universities Enterprise Portal’.  Within this, students have the opportunity to submit entries to win cash prizes for their a 60 second pitch.

If you can wow an audience with a sensational new business idea, concept or product in 60 seconds, you can win up to £1,500, as well as advice and support from Santander.

What do you need to do? Simply tell us about your business or idea and why you feel you deserve to win in 60 seconds.  Remember that people will be voting for their favourite entry so make sure it’s funny, creative or innovate.

The competition runs every three months so if you see yourself as the UK’s next successful entrepreneur, make sure you catch the next one!

If you’re interested, have a look at this short video about the competition as well as the link to the Enterprise Portal:

 https://www.santanderuniversities.co.uk/enterprise?t=1418207512

 https://www.santanderuniversities.co.uk/enterprise/win/60-second-pitch/business-opportunities/how-to-win?t=1418116838

The deadline for the submission for the first round of this is 22nd December 2014. 

Media Mavs and Carey Wallace

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Last week we held our annual Christmas Market in the fantastic new student’s union venue, Y Plas. It was a fantastic day and with 15 stalls present there was plenty to enjoy – from homemade fudge to jewellery and Christmas decorations. Some of the stalls made as much as £300, not a bad return from the initial £5 investment in hiring a stall! But don’t worry if you missed it! We teamed up with Media Mavs to create a short video to tell you everything you needed to know.

Whilst making the video we also had the opportunity to chat to Carey from Media Mavs during the event, and he told us a little about his experience of running his own media business;

So Carey, tell us a bit about yourself, and how you came up with the idea for your business.

I’m a third year post graduate student at Cardiff University pursuing a PhD in Social Psychology. I have an MBA and a Bsc in Computer Science. I have also been a serial entrepreneur for over 10 years. In looking at trends and opportunities to assist SME’s, I realised that there was a significant increase in the use and demand for online videos. As such, since I had the experience, expertise and equipment, I decided to go into the business of providing high quality, creative videos that get the results for SME’s in South Wales.

 

Did you always see self-employment as a viable career option, or did you stumble upon it?

My Father is an entrepreneur and 4 of my 5 brothers are entrepreneurs as well. It made me appreciate the value of running one’s own business, so it was automatic that I would become one myself. I do see the value of having the security of a regular income in a job, but there’s nothing that compares to the opportunities of growing your business and seeing it succeed.

 

It looks like your business is going from strength to strength, but what was the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in starting-up?

The biggest challenge was simply to find the first set of customers. After you have established a reputation, have a portfolio and are getting referrals, it’s easier. But at the start, someone will have to take a chance that you will produce what you say you will. Convincing customers to take that chance was difficult. Thankfully, we are past that stage.

 

What has been the most exciting development in your business so far?

I know it may sound boring, but the most exciting development so far is really just great feedback about our videos from clients. As a start-up, ensuring that you build a great reputation is essential, so we are thrilled whenever our clients are happy. Most of whom actually place orders for more videos. Exciting stuff!

 

What do you feel is the most rewarding aspect of running your own business?

The most rewarding aspect of running my own business is to experience the growth. More happy clients, more jobs, more sales, more profits. It’s good to see hard work , commitment and dedication pay off.

 

So Carey, what advice would you give to Cardiff University’s budding entrepreneurs?

The advice I would give is to be brave and bold. It’s easy to hide behind emails, websites, and social media, but regardless of business plans, market research, seed capital etc., the best thing you can do to get your business going is to get out there and land a paying customer. Nothing beats the experience you gain from going through that process, and it’s the best way to move up the learning curve, to tweak your sales approach, or product even. I think it places you on the path to success much quicker.

 

Cardiff University Enterprise sends a big thanks out to everyone on the Media Mavs team, we hope you every success in the future!

Aerial View

Christmas Market a Success!

The annual Christmas Market kicked off this year’s festive cheer last Tuesday in Y Plas. This is the first year we’ve held the market in this brand new club, and with the skylight open the atmosphere was bright and festive. We had 15 stalls exhibiting a variety of goods, from cakes and cookies, to handmade jewellery, with some stalls making a profit of up to £300!

From Cardiff with LoveMachu Picchu

 

This was one of our best markets to date, with more enterprising students coming forward with their fantastic products than ever before, to raise money for their own businesses, groups and charities. We had representatives there Sophiapot ShopVictorias Christmas Craftsfrom the Aberdare Hall Charity groups, a fundraising project for Worldwide Cancer Research, and students who used their crafting abilities to make great decorations and jewellery from recycled products.

 

The Market is a great opportunity for anybody who wants to raise money for charity with unique wares, or kick-start their business ideas, for the small fee of just £5 a stall, and the chance to sell to other students! And best of all, this small fee goes into a prize fund, so students can vote for their favourite stall, with voters entered into a prize draw to win some money themselves.

Phoenix Projects                                                                                The winner of the grand prize for Best Stall was Moli Griffin (pictured left), who was running her stall, The Phoenix Projects, in aid of an educational programme in Guatemala. Moli gained an additional £60 for her great cause!

The winning voter this year was Edward Ludlow, who opted for his £15 cash prize to go to charity, to spread the Christmas cheer.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our Markets or taking part next year, then email us on enterprise@cardiff.ac.uk.

Student Ambassador Blog Post

This month the Cardiff University Enterprise team posed the question: In your personal opinion, what is the greatest innovation of the last 20 years to our student ambassadors.  Amy Spencer-Rogers who studies Biomedical Science (Anatomy) answered:

The past 20 years has seen many great innovations that have completely changed the way we view and interact with the world, from the sequencing of the human genome to the common use of mobile phones to commercial GPS systems. It is extremely hard to pick one that stands out from all of these, however, in my opinion, perhaps the greatest innovation of the last 20 years is the launch of Google, the search engine which was launched in 1997 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

As someone born in the internet age who has grown up with Google, it is hard not to take it for granted and as silly as it sounds, I can barely imagine life without it. Google, to me, is the gateway to the internet and the enormous wealth of human knowledge it contains. It is so ubiquitous that the term ‘to google’ something has become a verb in its own right. It makes the little problems in life that bit easier to solve when you can enter, ‘how to unblock a drain’, ‘how to cook chicken’ or even ‘what is this weird rash on my arm’ and immediately come up with relevant answers. As a university student, I also find it hard to imagine how tedious it must have been when writing an essay or report to have to trawl through textbooks and hard copies of journals to find the information you needed.

Before the advent of Google, search engines did exist but they were a lot less user friendly and ranked results by the number of times a search term appeared on a page, as opposed to the relevance of the page. I think that Google therefore raised the bar for other websites and search engines on the internet, driving a more user friendly approach to designing sites and making the information that was available more accessible and useful for a huge number of people. The fact that Google acts as a gateway for such a breadth of knowledge is why, for me, it is perhaps the greatest innovation of the last 20 years.

Stay tuned for more repsonses from our Ambassadors.

Student Ambassador Blog Post

This month the Cardiff University Enterprise team posed the question: In your personal opinion, what is the greatest innovation of the last 20 years to our student ambassadors.  Alicia Lee is an Enterprise Ambassador currently studying a BSc Business Management responded:

The past 20 years may be characterised by unprecedented advancement in innovation unfolding across countless industries, perhaps the most notable of which relate to technological inventions which are ultimately shaping our future and changing the world within which we live.

It is my belief, and I’m sure the belief of many, that Wi-Fi may be considered the greatest innovation within this era, for it has even been suggested that this technological breakthrough may be considered a basic human need, as illustrated by the adaptation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Wi-Fi has truly become one of the most basic needs for most people across the world.

Short for Wireless Fidelity, this technological innovation enables computers, smartphones, iPad’s and other devices to communicate over a wireless signal. As we live in an increasingly connected world, reliance upon communication has taken precedence and we often feel panicked if we don’t have our smartphone or cannot access a wireless network. This demonstrates the extent to which Wi-Fi has become a staple in the fundamental needs of humans in order to remain connected.

Ultimately, the 21st century has become defined by the digital revolution, of which Wi-Fi has made a significant contribution. This has redefined how society views and interacts with technology through providing a high quality and consistent connected experience which has facilitated an increasingly interconnected world.

Stay tuned this week for more repsonses from the other ambassadors.

Embedded Enterprise & Employability Exchange 03.12.14

Wednesday 3rd December, 12.45-14.45, Council Chamber, Main Building

The Exchange aims to bring together academics to share knowledge and explore opportunities for advancing teaching in a way that contextualises attribute and skill development for enterprise and employment.  For this next instalment of the Exchange we are focusing in on two case examples where students will be available to outline their own experience of being taught using a modern pedagogic approach.

Dr Jacqui Mulville and a student from the School of History, Archaeology & Religion will outline a module where students develop personal attributes by communicating heritage to a wide audience.  Again, accompanied by a student, Dr Vincent Knight from the School of Mathematics will offer an insight into the structure and development of a module that advances coding skills and additionally offers a basic insight into innovation and commercial awareness.

Colleagues from across the institution can expect to; Continue reading

Global Entrepreneurship Week – Enactus Society

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) kicked off yesterday and Cardiff University Enterprise have been working hard to put together a dynamic list of events and activities for students to get involved in. We hope to support anyone looking at starting their own venture or who is interested in what it means to have an entrepreneurial spirit. The theme of this year’s GEW is “Get Connected” and we’ve connected with Enactus.

ENACTUS is a society that has formed at Cardiff University over the past year. Encompassing all things entrepreneurial, Enactus looks to build student’s enterprise skills whilst giving back to society. Working on a variety of projects ENACTUS, Cardiff has developed community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world.

Ross, an accounting student at CU, recently joined Enactus Cardiff and has written a guest blog about his experiences since joining the society. If you are interested in getting involved with ENACTUS please contact: youngst@cardiff.ac.uk

“I had no plans to join Enactus until I joined. I met Brendan, the President of Enactus, after he gave a speech to the Enterprise ambassadors. Brendan was the only member of Enactus as last years members were all third years that had left. During the speech, Brendan explained to us all what Enactus was all about.

Enactus is a worldwide organization that comprises of teams through various University societies. Enactus is all about empowering and enabling people and communities that need the most help, through enterprise and business skills.  Long-established Enactus societies around the globe have helped and improved the lives of many struggling communities; be it through starting a company which teaches African villagers to make soap to reduce the risk of disease, or starting a  tour guide business employing homeless people.

After speaking to Brendan about his plans to grow Enactus Cardiff from scratch I was interested in taking part. I was chosen for the position of Treasurer. Enactus Cardiff is now made up of 10 members with various positions. Together we are in the process of forming 3 different projects. With our social project, we have been helping the local Cathay’s Community centre. The social project team is in the process of setting up an elderly support centre to reach out to the elderly in the local community. The commercial project team is developing a t-shirt business with the aim of selling branded t-shirts on behalf of a recent widow. We also have a foreign project in development in Tanzania where we are hoping to provide a much-needed waste management system to help reduce pollution; whilst providing employment to a country with high unemployment.

As a new society we have a long way to go. However, we are beginning to make the first steps. This was shown through our team winning the regional award at the recent nationwide Enactus training event in Grantham.”

Enactus are always on the look out for enterprising individuals that want to make a difference. If you would like to be involved with this rewarding and inclusive society, please visit our Enactus page for more information or contact youngst@cardiff.ac.uk .