Category Archives: Faculty of Business

Innovative students win start-up grants after completing BETA START-UP business support programme

Ten student businesses have been awarded start-up grants of up to £1,500 after impressing judges as part of the University’s BETA skills development and start-up support programme.

Nine start-ups from Plymouth Business School and one from the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics received the grants from their faculties, after successful pitches to the BETA panel.

The BETA Enterprise Programme, run by the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre in Plymouth Business School, encourages budding business innovators to develop their ideas with advice from local experts. Running from October to May, the extracurricular programme is open to current students at the University, with the aim of making them more confident, innovative and employable graduates. Participants benefit from free skills development workshops, guest lectures from alumni and networking events, and taking part also contributes to students’ Plymouth Award/HEAR reports.

Judit Mero Hossain and Julia Jaczo pitching First Class Mentoring


The successful students, with businesses focusing on everything from urban bee farming to adventure and sustainable travel, were some of the many that took part in the BETA STARTUP element of the programme this year. The programme gives students access to weekly one-to-one business mentoring from industry experts over the academic year, to develop their ideas. 

The BETA START-UP programme would like to thank all the brilliant regional experts that volunteered their time and expertise to support and guide students with their business ideas through the programme. We could not do it without you!

The University’s Entrepreneurs in Residence Raphael Dennett and Gareth Hart support students on the BETA programme through business mentoring and skills workshops. Gareth Hart, who is also Director of Iridescent Ideas Community Interest Company, was a member of the latest BETA pitch judging panel. He said:

“The standard of the pitches this year was phenomenal. All the students had done meticulous market research and had compelling business ideas. The winners showed a bit more clarity in their business models and thinking. Encouragingly, there were a lot of social enterprise and ethical ideas too.

“This kind of experience is vital for future entrepreneurial or work endeavours. All the individuals pitching showed ambition, drive and delivered professional standard presentations.”

Join the programme or request an application form by email from Amber Strong at the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre.

The successful students and businesses:

James Mugridge (BSc Business Management, stage 4).                                                            SHAKA Student Travel – providing adventure holidays to sports societies


Jessica Derrick (BSc Business, stage 4)                                                                                  Simply Tonga – sustainable tourism trips and gap experiences in Tonga


Debra Yeo (BSc Business Management, stage 4)                                                                      Discover Cornwall – promoting the best events and business offers in Cornwall


James Fortune (BA Business, stage 4)                                                                                  Afortay – connecting music event organisers with high quality venues and equipment


Philip Atkinson (BSc Accounting and Finance, stage 4)                                                      Anchor Weights Ltd – innovative adaptable fitness equipment design


Judit Mero Hossain (BSc Business Management, stage 4) and Julia Jaczo (BSc Nutrition, Exercise and Health, stage 4)                                                                                                                First Class Mentoring – assignment proofreading


Matthew Elmes (BSc Professional Management Practice, stage 3)                                        Pollenize CIC – urban bee farming for corporate social responsibility


Jacob Asghar (BSc Business Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, stage 2)                                  Virtu Design – innovative product design with sustainable materials


Vadims Mahnovs (BSc Business Management, stage 4)                                                          Onitbook – academic year planner


Bogdan Stoica & Radu-Adrian Marcu (BSc Computing & Games Development, stage 4) Resonance Games – unique touchscreen glyph recognition


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.

605361 270649 Futures Design 65

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!


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.



  • 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.


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.

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.


Futures Entrepreneurship Centre connecting students, academics, researchers, start-ups, businesses and entrepreneurs

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