ENTERPRISE Place, a department at the University of Sunderland, is celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week in an effort to inspire and encourage potential business owners.
Sam Boal spoke to Jenny Westgate, Enterprise Place co-ordinator, to get the low-down on this week’s events.
ENTERPRISE Place is the hub at the university which helps students and graduates start up their own business, and this week they’re using their social media platforms to celebrate entrepreneurs as a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week – the world’s biggest entrepreneur celebration.
Jenny Westgate, Enterprise Place co-ordinator, told us: “Global Entrepreneurship Week is obviously a huge week in the calendar, in terms of what we support, because we support entrepreneurs, and students and graduates who want to become entrepreneurs. This week is kind of celebrating that. On our social media platforms, we’re going to have content that celebrates the entrepreneurs that we’ve supported.
“There’s going to be lots of little snippets celebrating each entrepreneur. There will be a spotlight on one entrepreneur at a time; for example an illustrator who has created a brand from her own illustrations.
“It’s particularly important, since this year we’re all trying to support more local, smaller brands at Christmas time, and this will be embedded in our content as well.
“We will also be having some videos from alumni Enterprise Place members who are a bit further on in the entrepreneurial journey and have left us and have flown the nest.”
Illustrator Lauren Young has created greeting cards printed on wildflower seed paper so you can give the gift of a card & flowers in one go!🌼
— The Enterprise Place (@Enterprise_UoS) November 16, 2020
Not only will there be social media content shining a light on current entrepreneurs, there will also be a workshop for aspiring student business owners.
Jenny told us: “We have a Zoom workshop on Friday, which is going to be delivered by the entrepreneurs’ forum, so there will be entrepreneurs there who are a lot further on in their journey than our students and graduates. They’ll talk about their journey and how they got there, and it gives our graduates and students chance to ask about their journey and ask for advice.”
Any University of Sunderland students or graduates who have a business idea are encouraged to contact Enterprise Place, based at Hope Street Xchange, who will give them the advice and support they need. They will also receive access to helpful facilities, such as laptops, offices and meeting rooms.
Jenny explained: “We don’t have a preference in terms of what industry people go down. We support fine artists, photographers, media production, we’ve even got a vegan sweetie business, illustrators, software developers… we have loads of different things going on, including community interest companies as well, so we support students and graduates. Any business that has a social enterprise side of it
“We offer support through a wide range of opportunities, such as one-to-one business advice, one-to-one marketing advice, workshops and seminars based on business development and how to start a business, so thing’s like tax and book keeping, using social media properly, understanding search engine optimisation, contracts. The stuff we deliver is all really beneficial to students and graduates who are looking to start a business.
“We give support from the concept stage to the already registered. We offer grants as well, so people can apply for up to £1,000-worth of grant funding.
“We’re part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and we have that funded until March 2023. We are also part-funded by Santander as well, so they give us money for grants and to put on workshops.”