My time with Inspiring Enterprise

12 Jul 2018

The Inspiring Enterprise project supports students and graduates wishing to explore how to become self-employed or start a social enterprise at the end of their academic studies and offers support and resources to develop the ideas, confidence and skills required to become you’re own boss. We asked some of our students about their time as part of the project!

Rosie Lewis – SU Vice President, Education & Drama and English Literature graduate

Student in graduation robes

“Before my current role, I studied Drama and English Literature. Whilst in my third year, I co-created a theatre company called StormCloud Arts & Theatre. My creative partner and I enjoyed running the company together and working in the arts, so we decided that we wanted to take this further; we wanted make a living off of this. We both had experience in the Arts and in running workshops, but we had no idea how to make this a profession.

After signing up, Inspiring Enterprise offered free mentoring, workshops, and networking events, aimed at helping those who want to start their own businesses. The networking events put us in contact with lots of other local businesses and like-minded people. Our mentoring sessions were personalised to what we wanted to achieve in the future. The mentoring partnership helped us immensely, forming some shape to our company. We were also introduced to another contact with experience in the theatre industry, providing advice on industry connections.

We were also offered a multitude of free classes to attend! Ranging from understanding crowdfunding, to Search Engine Optimisation (something I had no clue about before, but have learnt is actually vital for modern day businesses)! My favourite workshop was about Marketing and Social Media. This workshop opened my eyes to the importance of social media in promoting businesses, and how to correctly market to the groups you are aiming for.

As someone whose degree was in books, history, and performance, I was so scared to take up running my own company. However, Inspiring Enterprise helped ground me, and gave myself and my partner all of the necessary information to successfully run a modern day business. My confidence skyrocketed after attending networking events, and I learnt so much from the scheme."

Phoebe Gubb – Second Year Business Management with Enterprise and Innovation student

Student posing in front of a wall

"The Inspiring Enterprise course is probably the most real life thing you can get involved with while you’re at the University of Winchester.

I have just finished this 12 week course, where on Thursday nights I got to learn all things social media, business entities, search engines, websites, accounting, analytics and more, from people who actually live it every day in their own business. My knowledge and real understanding of businesses has massively improved. Alongside it I even started an Instagram page which is now about to hit 1,000 followers!!  

The best thing about Inspiring Enterprise, besides the knowledge I gained, is the people you meet and connect with (oh and free pizza, plus did I mention that they pay for your travel?!). It is super motivating being around entrepreneurs and business owners. I also have a personal business mentor as part of the project; the best 1:1 I’ve probably ever had.

If you have a business idea, thought of working for yourself, want to get creative with your own ways to make money, or simply want to learn about how businesses work, then join the Inspiring Enterprise project!"

 

Inspiring Enterprise is a fully-funded Building Better Opportunities project, by Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund. For more information about the Inspiring Enterprise project at Winchester visit the website or email inspiringenterprise@winchester.ac.uk

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