Inspiring the next generation
The University of Warwick has many enterprising alumni in business, the arts and society. We aim to tell their stories and use them to inspire and support future student entrepreneurs. We also want to connect our alumni entrepreneurs to our students. Their experience and advice will enable aspiring entrepreneurs make informed decisions about their careers and entrepreneurial projects. In parallel, we are raising a philanthropic Student Enterprise Fund to support student entrepreneurs.
|An interview with Abi Awojobi a student entrepreneur at the University of Warwick including a discussion of her motivation to be an entrepreneur and what particular barriers female entrepreneurs face.|
Are student entrepreneurs born or made?
Those born entrepreneurs know who they are. But what if you want to find out whether an entrepreneurial career is for you after Warwick? What if you have a new idea you want to develop while you are at Warwick? Or what if you want to contribute to someone else’s ideas and help make it happen? Or should you start out by joining a large organization, build your career and be entrepreneurial later? How can Warwick alumni and the University’s enterprise ecosystem help our students make informed decisions and provide the right support?
Warwick Enterprise Partnership
50 years ago, Warwick itself was a startup, the brainchild of entrepreneurial people whose names grace some of our buildings. Now we are a top 10 research and teaching university with a turnover of close to half a billion pounds and 23,000 students. And we are still growing in international reach and reputation.
Warwick is engaged in enterprise at many levels. With SMEs through the Science Park, Minerva Business Angels (which it runs), WMG’s International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI) and the Science City Research Alliance (with the University of Birmingham). This is underpinned by research at the Enterprise Research Centre at WBS. Academic enterprise is supported by Warwick Ventures which helps set up and manage the University’s spinout companies. And good ideas can come from anywhere; Campus and Commercial Services runs leading academic services companies, Jobs.ac.uk and Unitemps.
Bringing these university resources together with others to benefit student enterprise is the Warwick Enterprise Partnership. Here, additionally, Student Careers and Skills, the Development Office, the Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning, alumni-run Warwick Entrepreneur Professional Network and student representatives collaborate to develop and implement the Warwick enterprise pathway for our students.
50 Years of Warwick Enterprise – tell your story as an entrepreneur
Much of Warwick’s reputation for enterprise originates from its alumni. Some are celebrities in the arts and entertainment industry. Some have built businesses bigger than Warwick; others have successfully started multiple, smaller companies that collectively are significant innovators and employers. Others have founded NGOs that make significant contributions to society.
50 Years of Warwick Enterprise collects their stories. How did they get started? What inspired them? What did they achieve? What challenges did they face? What do they want to pass on to the next generation?
If you are a Warwick entrepreneur, past or present, please share your experience with us. We will arrange for someone to capture your story as a written profile. For some we would also like to make a short video. These will be put on the Warwick Enterprise website for students and the public to view.
Can you help our student entrepreneurs?
To develop our support network for student entrepreneurs for the next 50 years, we need your help. If you are an alumnus or simply like what we are doing at Warwick, please consider the following:
Become a Warwick Venture Mentor
Please share your experience and expertise. Donate some time to mentor student entrepreneurs. Venture Mentors will be put in small teams to support student entrepreneurs according to the stage and size of the project. This maximizes the contribution you can make individually and collectively to student entrepreneurs. It also provides opportunities to collaborate with other alumni and build your professional networks.
Donate to the Student Enterprise Fund
While personal mentoring and advice is perhaps the most important need, money still makes the world go round. The Student Enterprise Fund is a philanthropic fund that will make small grants (up to £2,500) to student projects. The main uses of funds will be to test ideas in the marketplace, development skills and build professional networks, for example e.g. for proof of concept development, websites, attending boot camps, external courses and travel expenses.
We will be using Crowdfund Campus, a business founded by a recent Warwick alumnus in the Warwick Ventures Software Incubator, to run the fund-raising campaign. The investment committee of the Student Enterprise Fund will have members of the Warwick Enterprise Partnership and alumni to review applications and make awards. The Fund will be managed by the University.
If you would like to make a donation to the Student Enterprise Fund, please register your interest here: www.crowdfundcampus.com