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Researcher's Toolkit: D3 - Engagement and impact

This researcher's toolkit has been developed to offer you practical advice and suggestions to help you design, carry out and write up a research project.

Enterprise and entrepreneurship

Enterprise Education has been defined as “the process of equipping students (or graduates) with an enhanced capacity to generate ideas and the skills to make them happen,” QAA (2002)  Entrepreneurship education “equips students with the additional knowledge, attributes and capabilities required to apply these abilities in the context of setting up a new venture or business,” QAA (2002).

At University of Suffolk, the Business Development and Enterprise team have run in conjunction with the Students’ Union and the University of Suffolk Event and Enterprise Society a series of “Enterprising Students” workshops over the past couple of years on the following topics:-

  • Tax
  • Sales – selling your product
  • How to use Social Media to grow a business.
  • How to progress your business idea
  • What does a Social Entrepreneur look like
  • Making the media work for you
  • Marketing a business with little cash

It can be suggested that these courses have helped students learn about Entrepreneurship and self-employment so the strategy over the next few years will be to focus on doing via experiential learning opportunities.  Working with Corporate and Small to Medium Enterprises as well as the student University of Suffolk Events and Enterprise Society, the idea will be for students/graduates to come together to form companies to raise money with local charities then having to pitch to them for funding.

We also collaborate with different faculties on their Enterprise competitions such as the Nursing School’s ‘Dragons Den’ initiative and then link the students up with businesses or organisations that can assist them.  There is the Ipswich Suffolk Small Business Association (ISSBA) who offer half hour free consultation to its members, the Eastern Enterprise Hub, a not for profit organisation, who offer in depth support to people wishing to start up their own business.

If you are part of the University of Suffolk community and already have your own business, then we will promote it for you on our website: http://www.ucs.ac.uk/ResearchAndEnterprise/BusinessDevelopmentandEnterprise/Enterprising-You.aspx as we want to share your successes and to inspire and encourage others.

References

Enterprise and entrepreneurship education: Guidance for UK higher education providers. (2012, September).

The Enterprising Researcher: Vitae. (2013).

If you are focusing on your research and your goal is a career in academia for example, you might not feel Enterprise Development is for you but to be enterprising, you have to be creative, flexible, good at problem solving and determined, all qualities you need for research.  The more you widen your professional network, the more opportunities you create for yourself whether to publicise, promote or commercialise your research.  Working within an organisation means that you can be ‘Intrapreneurial’ where you “transform an idea into something which adds value for the organisation”, Vitae (2013).  Having these skills will mean your contribution to a business is more valuable.

In the Autumn of 2016, University of Suffolk will be launching the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre (IWIC) which will be co-located on our Ipswich campus within the newly refurbished Atrium Building.  IWIC will be a driver of innovation and growth among local entrepreneurs, innovators, students, graduates and academic staff.  IWIN members can expect to be fully integrated into the University of Suffolk community, benefitting from affordable but high value services enabling business and personal growth.  The IWIC will be occupied, full of activity and provide local entrepreneurs with the facilities to support growth without the need to travel to the technology clusters outside of the region.  So whilst you are studying, it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the additional networking and training opportunities that IWIC will provide.

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Attribution

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