Posted Wednesday 29 May 2013
The Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction Survey: 2011-12 also reveals that Kingston University-supported start-ups have the equivalent of 2,216 full-time staff on their books. The figure - an increase from 1,972 in the previous 12 months - is considerably more than for those launched with help from universities elsewhere.
In other categories, Kingston is rated second for graduate start-up turnover, with firms notching up a combined total of £30 million, rising from £27 million in 2010-11. Kingston also holds the second highest spot in the United Kingdom for the total number of start-ups it has launched over the years, with the figure now sitting at 544.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Julius Weinberg said it came as no surprise that Kingston had seen off stiff competition from universities across the country to secure the top spots in the survey's graduate start-up analysis. "Kingston University has long been a driving force in fostering innovation and has a strong track record in nurturing and supporting budding businesses and small and medium enterprises across the region," he said. "We are committed to equipping our students and graduates with the knowledge and skills to create new businesses, new jobs and wealth - exactly what the country needs in a time of recession. This new generation of entrepreneurs will be a pivotal part of Britain's economy as it moves forward."
Enterprising Kingston students and alumni have been making their mark in the business world with a range of ground-breaking products. Nursing graduate Neomi Bennett has already notched up 11 awards after inventing a life-saving aid for people with mobility problems and has even been invited to 10 Downing Street to talk to Prime Minister David Cameron about her work. She developed the Neoslip while she was a nursing student at Kingston University and St George's, University of London and now sells the product around the world.
Neomi is not the only entrepreneurial Kingston student to have earned parliamentary praise. In a recent visit to tap into Kingston Business School's academic expertise, the Prime Minister's adviser on enterprise, Lord Young of Graffham, emphasised the important role that universities played in helping start-up companies flourish.
Lord Young, who spearheaded the launch of the new Start-Up loan scheme for under-25s in 2012, said he was particularly impressed with students from Kingston's MA Creative Economy programme. They swept the board in the latest WestFocus Bright Ideas competition, open to budding entrepreneurs from seven universities across London, clinching a grand total of 19 prizes. The Pozzy flower carrier and reusable labels for jars and boxes, dubbed Jabels, were just two of the innovations that caught the judges' eyes.
Elsewhere, a Kingston international business studies graduate is playing a driving role in a campaign to improve Government support for graduate businesses. Hushpreet Dhaliwal, 25, the chief executive of the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE), has joined forces with the University Alliance, which represents higher education institutions committed to innovation and enterprise, to call on the Government to boost funding and look at fresh ways to support graduate entrepreneurs.
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