Posted Monday 2 November 2015
Kingston University has appointed social enterprise champion Claudine Reid as its third entrepreneur in residence.
Ms Reid, who has worked as a social enterprise ambassador for the Cabinet Office, brings 23 years' experience as director of PJ's Community Service, a social enterprise providing care services to vulnerable adults and education services for young people. Her role at Kingston University will include working with students and graduates on Kingston's Enterprise! programme, delivering workshops and seminars to help shape would-be entrepreneurs as well as coaching and mentoring those already running their own fledgling business ventures.
"I'm really looking forward to helping students and graduates develop an understanding of what entrepreneurial thinking is and working with them to further their ideas," she said. "I've got a practitioner's perspective and draw on real life examples. However, while I'm coming in as the expert, I still believe that I can learn from other people and look forward to hearing ideas from the students."
The University's Head of Enterprise Education, Martha Mador, said the Enterprise! programme was keen to support innovative students and graduates channelling their ideas and energy into developing products or campaigns that could help society.
"Social enterprise is an important part of Kingston University's ethos and being able to tap in to Claudine Reid's expertise will provide us with an enormous boost," Dr Mador said. "Our students are creative, altruistic and really care about improving the world. Claudine's help in enabling them to do exactly that will be invaluable."
Ms Reid was awarded an MBE in 2008 for services to the community. She joins fellow entrepreneurs Simon Hulme – a management consultant and business start-up investor – and David Stokes, an emeritus professor of entrepreneurship, who are already providing advice and support to Kingston University students through entrepreneur in residence roles.
Her appointment marks the launch of the University's Enterprise! programme for the new academic year, signalling the roll-out of a series of events featuring high-profile speakers along with workshops and mentoring sessions. All students and recent graduates are eligible to enrol on the programme, while budding business gurus also have a chance to enter the Bright Ideas competition showcasing business ideas, products or services to win £1,000 financial investment, mentoring support and help pitching to investors.
The action-packed schedule will also see Kingston University host an Enterprise Fair on 19 November, as part of this year's Global Entrepreneurship Week. A 24-hour "Social Storm" challenge will come hot on its heels on 20 and 21 November, when teams from 15 international universities will join forces to solve a real life problem and submit a video pitch to judges.
Kingston University is widely recognised for its expertise in enterprise education. The Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey 2013-14 reported that, for the sixth year running, Kingston was one of the top universities in the country for the number of graduates starting up their own companies. It also found that firms launched by former Kingston University students notched up a combined total of nearly £30 million that same year.