Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Creative way of learning enterprise skills

Year 7 pupils from PHSG tackled business and creative tasks during an enterprise day with great enthusiasm and interest. The enterprise day was organised by the University of PlymouthFutures Entrepreneurship Centre and a Plymouth based ‘not-for-profit’ organisation Flameworks.

Enterprise days are designed to engage pupils in creative enterprise learning activities and develop their business and entrepreneurial skills. What’s more the enterprise days develop their soft skills such as communication, creative problem solving, time management, teamwork and presentation skills. Furthermore, the days give pupils the opportunity to work for and with a real business.

It is never too soon to encourage students to understand that as well as achieving their academic grades they need to have a broad portfolio of employability skills. Enterprise activities are a valuable way to develop these skills and encapsulate our school motto ‘For life, not school, we learn’.  With this in mind, it was very impressive to see our Year 7 students organise themselves, delegate, plan and meet the very tight deadlines they were given.  Working with the Plymouth University Futures Entrepreneurship team and local artist Christina Peters was an enriching experience and we look forward to welcoming them back into Plymouth High in the near future.”  Heather Longford, Careers & Work Experience Coordinator

For this specific enterprise day pupils were asked to suggest ideas on how to promote Flameworks courses and facilities among young people; to suggest new courses that Flameworks can offer for young people and to create a leaflet to help market their facilities. The pupils also had to prepare a 2 minute poster presentation explaining the marketing and promotional strategies.

Most of the morning was spent working with clay creating beautiful pendants or other clay objects and imprinting plants and other natural objects onto the clay. The morning was follow by a lecture on marketing and group work. The pupils enjoyed working in their groups, especially because the group allocation was arranged specifically so that, the pupils would work with the peers they did not know.

I was thrilled with the high level of the presentations, especially how creatively the tasks were approached. Creating short theatre performances in their presentations, using acting, creating songs, dancing and presenting with such a confidence was only one of the highlights of this exciting enterprise day full of collaboration, team work and creative learning.

I enjoyed the whole process of planning, creating the activity, spending the day at PHSG and seeing the outstanding results of the pupils’ creative hard work. The girls worked with such enthusiasm and were so proud of their work. All of them were excellent and it was very rewarding to see them thriving and excelling in everything they did during the day. I think it is very important to put learning in context and give pupils the opportunity to work for a real business. We specifically chose a task – where the target audience were young people – this gave pupils the opportunity to relate to the task closely and allowed us and the business to see the marketing improvements through their open and critical eyes.

I can only echo Elena’s written account of the successful outcome of the Enterprise day. I was totally impressed with the enthusiasm of the girls and their creative approach to the tasks on all levels, including the making of the clay pendants as well as the fantastic business and marketing materials and ideas they were able to produce within such a short time frame. The day surely demonstrated to me, what can be achieved with a focussed entrepreneurial creative business approach combined with creative skills and fun. It also highlighted the demand for new craft and arts courses for younger audiences and demonstrated a strong desire of young people to get involved in participatory exciting hands-on making activities and processes. As a representative of Flameworks artists and educators, I feel inspired by the positive buzz of the day, to help creating more course and workshop opportunities for young people to get involved and access our facility” Christina Peters.

In the words of Lucy Rodriques-Cova, a final year Faculty of Business student “I really enjoyed working as a Student Ambassador for the Enterprise Day. It was great to see the year 7’s come up with such innovative marketing ideas. They were extremely enthusiastic during their presentations and they were a pleasure to work with”.

I am looking forward to many more new creative and enterprising learning days.

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Innovative way of learning business and enterprise skills.

It was a delight to welcome pupils from Wadebridge School who came to spend the day at University of Plymouth (UoP) last week to learn about different degree programmes, to explore the PU campus and enhance their business skills through the business simulation game SimVenture.

SimVenture is a flexible, engaging and experiential business simulation learning tool that can be played individually or in teams. It is designed to reflect business reality and it also provides users with educational resources about business and enterprise. The user has to make all the business decisions from market research, marketing, manufacturing, productions, design, management, finance and human resources to legal contracts. The aim is to develop business awareness and to apply business knowledge practically. Through the game students can set up and run a business for 3 simulated years and further develop their business awareness.

During the visit, pupils also met our business student ambassadors who shared with them their student journey and experiences. Learning about finances, modules, accommodation, societies, placements, part time jobs and student life in general is very valuable to any potential student.

We finished the day with a beautiful sunny campus tour during which we visited different lecture theatres and classrooms in Portland Square, the Roland Levinsky Building, the Babbage Building which houses the largest computing open access area on campus and the Writing Café (a space where students can explore techniques and strategies to improve their writing). Pupils were also able to see the student flat in Mary Newman and the University’s Student Accommodation office, Student union, Reservoir Café, Sports Centre, Library and other facilities available to students.

We all enjoyed the day and I am already looking forward to a future campus visit.

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STUDENTS! Get inspired with BETA and TEDx Plymouth University this January

The final few tickets for Plymouth University’s TEDx event on the 1st of February are selling fast (tickets available here) and January 2018 is bursting with events!

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Currently, nine dedicated students that have developed their business ideas through the BETA programme over the last few months are due to pitch for start-up funding grants of up to £1500 each on the 30th of January. Stay tuned for the results in a few weeks!

The BETA Funding Pitch Day this January is now fully booked. So please contact me directly if you are ready to take on the BETA challenge and pitch your business idea to our panel of judges at either of our upcoming pitch days (20th of March or 26th of April) this spring.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Monday 29th Jan – 10-11am, in Roland Levinsky building, LT1, students are to attend a guest talk by alumni and digital entrepreneur Raphael Dennett on his entrepreneurial journey.
  • Tuesday 30th January – Starting Post networking! Network with Plymouth’s business start-up community, this month at the Moments Café & Hub, New George St, Plymouth PL1 1RJ, 5pm – 7pm.
  • Thursday 1st February, Celebrate the Spirit of Discovery! With TEDx at Plymouth University in Roland Levinsky building, lecture theatre 1. Final tickets selling fast! Book here now. Watch last year’s TEDx Plymouth University speakers here.
  • Thursday 8th of February – join us at the Welcome Back to BETA networking event from 3pm to 5pm in Roland Levinsky building, in room 304 as we relaunch the programme and share the exciting schedule of speakers, workshops and events we have lined up for spring 2018 kicked off by a short talk by entrepreneur and author Scott Gould.

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BETA’s free skills workshops, one-to-one business mentoring, entrepreneurial guest lectures and networking events are free and currently available to both current undergraduate and postgraduate students at Plymouth University. The pitch days for grant funding up to £1500 have some faculty specific conditions and restrictions. Check out the full list of events on the BETA Eventbrite profile here.

If you have not joined BETA Enterprise yet and would like to join, please complete this online application form (it is very quick) to officially register onto the BETA Enterprise programme.

 

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.

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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.

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