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Strathclyde Business School

Getting connected with the Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network

By Eleanor MacKay - Posted on 9 June 2016

SEN is a collaborative network put together to provide a hub of support and knowledge for Strathclyde students, alumni and staff who are keen to develop enterprise skills and  form and grow new businesses. Here, Eleanor MacKay enterprise coordinator, shares some of the support initiatives offered by SEN.

Networking is at the heart of entrepreneurship. A good idea is a must, but to take that idea forward, having contacts and networks of people who can advise and introduce you to useful contacts, influential businesspeople, and provide feedback is essential.

Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network (SEN) is a collaborative network which brings the University’s academic and professional services together with our global alumni community and extensive industry contacts to provide a central hub of support and knowledge for Strathclyde students, alumni and staff who are keen to develop enterprise skills and want to form and grow new businesses.

Because the network is embedded across the University, it’s able to bring together people from across the University’s four faculties who may not otherwise meet – and who knows where that may lead?!

Those involved in SEN activity are committed to nurturing entrepreneurial talent, supporting new ventures and celebrating success. There are a number of ways to do this including the promotion of all entrepreneurial teaching and opportunities that are happening across the University - for instance in the Business School, the BA Business Enterprise, the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and its new MSc Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology programme are some of the elements we promote.

There are also opportunities to develop entrepreneurial learning through the Strathclyde Enterprise Pathway. This is open to students and researchers University-wide and now it’s been opened out to other universities too through the partnership with Enterprise Campus (the west team situated right here at Strathclyde in the Enterprise Hub) this particular opportunity provides even more opportunities for networking and innovative ideas to be created. The Pathway is a competitive three-stage process taking place over two academic terms. Those taking part learn essential skills such as presentation and pitching skills, marketing and business planning, and get the chance to learn from successful entrepreneurs. Students are put into interdisciplinary teams who they work with for the final stage of the Pathway programme; the Enterprise Challenge. This is when the theory learned in the first two stages is put into practice. We’ve seen many successful start-ups grow from the Pathway, but it’s not the only way in which we help.

There’s also free impartial advice offered to anyone who needs it, and there’s a dedicated enterprise hub, providing free space for start-ups in the difficult early stages where finances may be tight! To that end, there are small pots of funding available to those eligible through the Strathclyders into Business fund (supported by Santander Universities), providing essential start-up support to early stage student and alumni businesses. Since 2008, the SIB fund has granted over 100 businesses in excess of £130k. Start-ups to benefit include Angelic Gluten Free and Revive.

Another offering through SEN is the support available from the Enterprise Team is via the Rising Star programme which helps those whose business really stands out from the crowd. It provides a unique package of support including a dedicated mentor, office space, support for applying to entrepreneurial competitions, and the opportunity to pitch at Strathclyde 100.

For those businesses who are ready for growth, there’s a dedicated incubation space in the form of Strathclyde University Incubator, Scotland’s first business incubator, set up at the beginning of 1990 to support start-ups through the early stages of growth. To date there have been around 125 business based there, many of whom have established strong growth, steady recruitment and developed into international markets. They also provide bespoke workshops and seminars for clients to support them in their business growth.

There is also support available through the University’s Commercial Team (another contributor to Strathclyde’s Entrepreneurial Network). Their specific remit supports opportunities progressing towards a commercial outcome in accordance with the University's Investment and Commercial Policy and Process. The Team provides a range of services to help academic staff turn their research ideas into a strong commercial proposition, including: intellectual property advice, commercial opportunity analysis, commercialisation funding applications, management of commercial advisory panels, business plan support, forming a new company, management of investment portfolio of spin-out companies, licence negotiation and industry liaison.

We’re always looking at ways to improve and build on what is offered in terms of entrepreneurial/commercial support across the university. We’d love to hear from anyone who’s got a business idea or who’s interested in entrepreneurship. Strathclyde’s Enterprise Hub provides a physical space for anyone to come in and interact with some of the network and find out how SEN can support them.

Have you been helped on your entrepreneurial journey by SEN? What other support could be offered? Let us know! Email enterprise@strath.ac.uk for initial enquiries or pop into Strathclyde’s Enterprise Hub and speak to the Enterprise Team who can point you in the right direction for your entrepreneurial journey!

Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119


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