Posted Friday 6 May 2022
A Kingston University alumnus has teamed up with HSBC and Kingston University to launch the Student Incubator Programme with the aim of developing the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Law graduate Gosbert Chagula founded his company, Startup Discovery School, with the intention of helping young entrepreneurs. “It has always been important to empower entrepreneurs from low income and underrepresented backgrounds. Collaborating with HSBC and Kingston University is the perfect way to achieve this,” he said. “I want to give young entrepreneurs the confidence and resources to take their business from idea to reality. The most important aspect of business is the customer and how your idea will benefit them. I really want to reinforce these values in the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Chagula, who graduated from Kingston University in 2007, said his studies led him to want to inspire young entrepreneurs. “My time at Kingston taught me about the importance of social issues,” he said. My lecturers challenged me in a very productive way, making me think about what I really wanted to do with my career. It ultimately influenced me to go into the business of helping young business owners.”
While they did not meet at Kingston University, Chagula co-founded Startup Discovery School with business and sociology alumnus, Mandy Nyarko. The pair established the business just as the pandemic began in March 2020.
Reflecting on the challenges of virtual mentoring Chagula reflected it was difficult to make the same connections via a video call, however it did have some benefits. “The move to home working allowed us to collaborate with so many more people globally and I think we made a positive change,” he added.
The Student Incubator Programme is a collaboration between HSBC, Startup Discovery School, Kingston and four other UK universities. Students accepted on to the scheme partake part in a 12 weeklong programme which sees them receive one to one mentorship from HSBC and Startup Discovery School as well as access to exclusive webinars and financial support.
Head of Kingston Business School, Ian Roberts, said the initiative was of great value to current students. “Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of Kingston University. We are delighted to be able to offer these opportunities to our entrepreneurial students through the support of HSBC and the Start-Up Discovery School,” he said.
Peter McIntyre, Head of Small Business Banking, HSBC UK said: “We look forward to supporting aspiring entrepreneurs and to seeing their creative ideas at the pitch day at our HSBC UK head office in Birmingham. We are committed to ensuring that access to finance is fair and open to all entrepreneurs and are delighted to be able to further enable these students to start their businesses and to nurture their talent.”