Category Archives: Business studies

ESRC – Enterprising Together Event

Responsible entrepreneurship presents a significant step in the right direction for community empowerment.

Dr Al-Dajani secured funding from ESRC to hold an event on responsible entrepreneurship during the annual Festival of Social Science. Thanks to the event, Plymouth’s refugees and asylum seekers met with students and staff from the University as well as local business owners, and other members of the general public, to collectively brainstorm, design and ignite team-led responsible enterprises that aim to foster community empowerment.

‘The event provided a good platform for people from different streams of life to meet and interact during the group work, with the hope that participants would get the chance to put, what they had learnt on the day, into practice and enrich the flourishing social enterprise sector in Plymouth.’ (Hoayda Darkal, PhD researcher, Human Geography and Resilience).

Plymouth University plays an important part in the life of the local community and Plymouth University’s mission, vision and values underpin all it’s activities (Plymouth University Strategy 2020).

The day was filled with practical and creative workshops to support enterprising ideas, offer solutions, connect communities and design business propositions. The participants were divided into teams; each team had to then present and pitch their ideas to the panel of experts and compete for an interesting prize.

Enterprising Together: Award Ceremony, Mast House, November 2017

The energy of the day was amazing, the connections and new partnerships made during the day emphasise the importance of these kinds of engagements and collaborations for communities from all over the city enabling them to hear each other’s point of view and contribute to the dialogue for change and betterment.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to all involved for making this day such a success and I am already looking forward to next year.


Social Science, Digital Rights and Responsible Entrepreneurship

Not long to go until we will celebrate the national Festival of Social Science that in its 15th year will host 316 events across the UK.

The University of Plymouth is hosting a series of events as part of the ESRC’s annual festival, starting on Saturday 4th November and continuing until Saturday 11th November.

The festival aims to support and create the opportunity for social science researchers to engage with non-academic audience, teachers and young people. Additionally it aims to promote and increase awareness of social sciences and ESRC’s research and to create a greater public engagement.

This year’s festival looks at creating ‘purpose’ and how it can influence our work and how we build communities and live our everyday lives.


Futures Entrepreneurship Centre and Institute for Social, Policy and Enterprise Research (ISPER) is joining the festival with an event ‘Enterprising Together’ focusing on responsible entrepreneurship.10Nov17_ Enterprising Together

“Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large” (Lord Holme & Watts: 1999).

‘Responsible’ entrepreneurship is similar to CSR however, it is associated with small entrepreneurs rather than large corporate bodies (Chapple and Moon, 2007; Fuller and Tian, 2006).

Responsible entrepreneurship presents a significant step in the right direction for community empowerment. The event, Enterprising Together embraces this theme by creating the space and opportunity for Plymouth’s refugees and asylum seekers to come together with students and staff from the University as well as local business owners, and other members of the general public, to collectively brainstorm, design and ignite team-led responsible enterprises that aim to foster community empowerment.

As part of the Festival the Futures Centre is also holding an event for the secondary schools. The Futures Centre is actively involved with regional and local secondary and primary schools supporting their business curriculum and creating opportunities. 10nov17_digital

The event, ‘Digital Rights, Safety at the expense of Privacy?’ will review recent policy and educational approaches to online safety. Professor Andy Phippen will raise concerns around whether the rights of children are being ignored in the drive to ensure they are ‘safe’ online. Entrepreneur Raphael Dennett will explore the concept of self-marketing and discuss how almost everything we do can be captured, documented or shared.

Extra Curricular event for students

Certificate in Sustainable Business

Saturday 4th November, Babbage Building, Plymouth University Main Campus4Nov_Certificate

Business, Entrepreneurs, Social enterprises, students and all interested in ethical business… Do not miss an event exploring every aspect of responsible enterprise

Good Business: Have Purpose: Be Fair: Make Money

Thursday 16th November, The Loft, Vauxhall Quay, Sutton Harbour, PL4 0DN16Nov17_Image

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I hope it was informative.

Why building and mapping enterprise skills is essential

Hope you all had a fine weekend and feel reenergised for another colourful autumn week that is ahead of us.

Last week, at the Enterprise Conference held at the Futures Centre on Friday 20th October we explored the importance of enterprise skills, soft skills and transferrable skills in education. The conference was organised by Deirdre McMahon, the Head of Business and Enterprise Studies at Devonporth High School for Girls and Elena Novakova from the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre. The conference also provided a platform for secondary school teachers and professionals to exchange knowledge, resources and tools. The skills were examined from an academic, student and business perspective.

We all know that the graduate labour market is extremely competitive and that graduates are now required to evidence additional competencies such as enterprise skills and soft and transferable skills. Research documents that recruiters value extra-curricular experience and look for evidence of soft skills. How do we prepare our students to ever changing and evolving labour market? How can we support the development of those additional skills? A session led by Plymouth University Career consultant Siwan Tyack, offered answers and strategies that teachers can adopt and implement in their school setting. She also emphasised the importance of creating, within a school setting, opportunities in which pupils can gain experience such as volunteering or shadowing. Our second speaker, recent graduate Dan Beattie, currently working for Babcock International, shared his strategy of mapping and developing transferable and enterprise skills throughout his studies at secondary school and at the university.

The second part of the conference was dedicated to a session ‘Developing Enterprising Approaches’ that equipped delegates with practical enterprising tools and approaches for their academic career. Sybille Schiffmann introduced us to creative enterprises concepts and models that expand innovativeness and imagination. Of particular interest to me were some of the interesting resources and concepts mentioned throughout the conference, such as B-Corporations and Aim2Flourish; and books such as 4th Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwad or The Future of The Professions by R. & D. Susskin.

On Tuesday 17th October, Year 12 and Year 13 pupils at Devonport High School for Girls met Professor Richard Saundry who visited the school to discuss and debate the future Of ‘Good Work‘. In the words of the Head of Business Studies, McMahon “The students were keen to discuss and debate what ‘good work’ will look like in the future and the issues that businesses will need to tackle. The students were especially engaged with the interactive nature of the sessions and enjoyed being able to have an input into the research”. The session provided students with vital insights on the changing nature of the labour market and the future of work. It further helped them to identify key challenges for the management of people in the contemporary workplace; examined the links between the wider economy and the nature of work and employment; and encouraged them to discuss and analyse this information in the context of their own experiences.

Entrepreneur Raphael Dennett inspired students in his workshop on ‘Entrepreneurial Mind-Set’ and encouraged them to reach beyond their own expectations. Raphael strongly believes that one can achieve anything one sets one’s mind to. As I hear him often saying, “not even the sky is the limit”. Is the Universe then?

Coming up this week

Pitching and Presentation Skills Workshop

Wednesday 25th October, Jill Craigie Cinema, RLB, 09:00 – 11:00

A workshop that will leave you equipped with design, pitch and presentation skills. Don’t miss the opportunity to practise, get feedback on a mini-pitch and hear about a wealth of tips to help you to grow in confidence.

Future Events NOT TO BE MISSED

Certificate in Sustainable Business

Saturday 4th November 2017, Babbage Building Room 406, PU Main Campus


Businesses are increasingly looking for employees who are aware of the major influence of sustainability on the business landscape and for many it is an essential requirement. This certified day course is an opportunity for students to gain a broad understanding of the connections and effect of sustainability agenda on business and become more competitive in the job market.

Good Business: Have Purpose: Be Fair: Make Money

Explore the strategy, models and values behind ethical businesses

Thursday 16th November 2017, The Loft, Vauxhall Quay, Sutton Harbour, PL4 0DN, 09:00 – 13:00


Presented as part of Plymouth Enterprise Week, our leading researchers, academics and business colleagues will explore more about the strategy, models and values behind ethical businesses and how running a responsible enterprise can make you more money.

If you are interested in expanding your knowledge about social enterprise and sustainable business or developing your presentation skills be sure to register on some of the above mentioned events.

Don’t forget to put your clocks back this weekend but do not fall back on opportunities