The Beta Enterprise Programme, run by the Plymouth Business Schools’ Futures Entrepreneurship Centre at Plymouth University, provides mentoring, funding and more to students with innovative business ideas.
I helped organise and run the Beta Enterprise Mentor Meet and Greet event at the end of December 2014.
The Mentor meet and greet event went far better than Sarah Preedy and myself had imagined. The event went so well because students really felt the benefit of being able to meet with local professional business mentors, including the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre’s three Entrepreneurs in Residence, Raphael Dennett, Randolph Gratton and Gareth Hart. Students went around to each mentor for 5 minutes at a time in a ‘speed dating style’ set up, pitching their business idea and the business mentors offered them advice and even potential contacts. Most students were able to speak to every one of the seven local business mentors at the event that evening.
Students also learnt a lot from listening to each other’s ideas and experiences. It was very good to see so many dedicated Plymouth Business School students making the most of the expertise and support the BETA Enterprise programme provides for Plymouth Business School students.
The Beta Enterprise Programme is the latest in Plymouth University’s range of initiatives to promote student enterprise.
The programme provides workshops, advice and 1-2-1 mentoring throughout the year in preparation for a pitching competition in the summer term where the winning students will receive up to £1500 in monetary support for their business.
For their time, mentors often take as much away from the experience as the students, including personal satisfaction, enhanced managerial skills, a fresh perspective and enthusiasm for their own projects.
Gareth Hart, Director, Iridescent Ideas CIC was a mentor on the BETA Enterprise Programme for 2013-2014, and said this of the experience:
“The students had some exciting business ideas and supporting them around developing these was a great experience. Helping them think through the ethical and corporate, social responsibility issues was integral to the process. I even got to sample some ‘hibiscus-cola’ – a drink one of the products a student was creating!”
This year’s programme sees ideas ranging from pioneering social media management tools to bespoke clothing and events management. Students will work closely with their local business mentors to encourage a high level of long-term business viability and social consciousness.
To find out more about Beta Enterprise, or if you would you like to attend any future events by Beta Enterprise, including the free workshops below, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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