A Kingston University academic is calling on graduates to sign up to a new scheme to help would-be entrepreneurs establish and develop commercial ideas and initiatives.
The Enterprising Graduates Network has been set up by Kingston Universityâ€™s Entrepreneurship Centre. It aims to encourage Kingston graduates to establish their own businesses, commercial initiatives or social projects by giving advice and establishing a network of like-minded individuals to provide help, support and encouragement.
Lead academic at the Entrepreneurship Centre Dr Martha Mador said the network would put the university in touch with graduates who were either thinking of starting a business or who were already in the process of setting one up. Â â€œFrom the graduatesâ€™ perspective, itâ€™s about getting them in touch with each other and providing help and support for their ventures, whether thatâ€™s in the form of training and education, making contact with students who might be able to help them, or finding funding,â€ Dr Mador said.
Through a series of events, Dr Mador hopes to bring graduates and the business community together to network, share critical skills and contacts. She also aims to help individuals find funding for new enterprises, provide access to the educational opportunities available to enhance business capability and provide experts for mentoring and advice. Almost 100 graduates have already signed up to the network and Dr Mador is keen to see this number grow.
Set up in December 2006, the scheme was officially launched at Kingston Universityâ€™s Penrhyn Road campus late last month with a two-day intensive entrepreneurship training exercise called the Enterprising Graduates Awards. The event was attended by 35 graduates who took part in exercises to help them develop their ideas, learn marketing skills and focus on customer requirements. Established entrepreneurs were on hand to talk about their own businesses and industry professionals from Kingston Chamber of Commerce and Kingston Innovation Centre were also available to give advice.
Further events will be staged during the year, including a networking meeting looking at project development at Kingston Universityâ€™s Knights Park campus on February 22, and Health v Wealth, a lecture on social entrepreneurship, at the Lawley Lecture Theatre on the Kingston Hill campus, on March 8.