Inspiring Enterprise Week kicked off to a great start with the Spring Market which saw entrepreneurial students testing their trade by booking out market stalls in the Student’s Union. Students sold their baked goods, unique artwork and various other hand-made crafts. The market itself was buzzing and the buzz carried on throughout the week.
Both students and staff benefited from the vast array of activities and events put on by the Enterprise Team and student organisations such as AIESEC. The staff-focused Embedding Enterprise Exchange event was a success with forty-five academics from across the UK converging on Cardiff. Discussions centred on how coupling academic learning with a mind set for enterprise can lead to open minded, innovative individuals ready to make a change in their chosen career. Guest speakers from the fields of Computer Science, Design, Linguistics, Mathematics, Nursing and Welsh highlighted real examples of enterprise through their discipline and spoke about how teaching and learning is evolving within the UK.
Creative students were invited to learn how to freelance their talents in a workshop lead by Frances Brown. Students looking to expand on their skillset put their marketing, event management, financial analysis and business planning skills to use to help Save the High Street, a pervasive learning workshop lead by the Enterprise Team. Postgraduate researchers were invited to witness a debate between Prof Judith Hall OBE and Constantina Katsari Muston concentrating on which path researchers should take after finishing their PhDs- Academia or Industry.
To further encourage student entrepreneurship, undergrads and postgrads looking to start their own enterprise, or are currently running a business part time, entered the Spark Ideas Challenge where £10,000 overall was awarded to successful candidates. In order to secure funding the contestants had to write a business plan, pitch to a panel of industry experts or create a video detailing their business ideas. All participants received valuable feedback from the panel to ensure they had a solid business plan to take forward.
There were several other activities that sought to inspire staff and students, and the overall feedback was extremely positive. The Cardiff University Enterprise Team invited excellent guest speakers such as Neil Cocker and Aimee Bateman to speak to students about the perks and pitfalls of starting a business in Cardiff. James Barnham and Helen McAvoy also regaled students with their experience of slaying the dreaded BBC Dragon’s Den judges by making the difficult decision to reject hundreds of thousands of pounds in funding. Through these events, workshops and guest speaker sessions, The Enterprise Team were able to successfully encourage discussion amongst academics, staff and students in Cardiff, and even further afield, on what means to be innovative and enterprising.
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