Wednesday 20 October – The Business Start-Up Journey launches!

Be inspired at the launch of this year’s Business Start-Up Journey where we will welcome Shannie Mears, co-founder and Head of Talent at Elephant Room, a leading creative company dedicated to increasing diversity in advertising.

Shannie Mears, who trained as a dancer, will share her incredible journey from intern to entrepreneur. One of Management Today’s 35 under 35 she was also named in BIMA’s top 100 talents of 2018 and has worked with brands including Addidas and Britvic, been Brand and Talent Manager for GUAP magazine and hosts her own events encouraging young women to connect as a part of Girls Talk London, called Girls, let’s talk.

At the launch, learn more about the University’s flagship student Business Start-Up Journey, meet the ASPIRE team of experts and hear from student entrepreneurs who have started their own businesses.

See below for the full programme of events this year and email to book your spot. 

Wednesday 27 October  Workshop 1 – How to Find A Business Idea

In the first of three interactive workshops to help you generate ideas, you’ll collaborate with other students find new business ideas using the Sustainable Development Goals for inspiration.

Saturday 30 October  – The Ideas Hack

Dive into our ideas hack, where you’ll work with other students to find ideas using the Sustainable Development Goals as inspiration. Start to develop your entrepreneurial skills using Design Thinking techniques that help you to unlock the innovation and find ideas.

Wednesday 3 November – Workshop 2 – Problem Solving and Innovation – Teams 1-2pm SR6 2-4pm

Dive into more problem solving, to understand how business ideas can come from understanding and solving problems in the world around us.

Wednesday 17 November – New Technology and New Ideas

What inspiration can new technologies provide us with when starting a business? How can we create sustainable start-ups using cutting edge apps and other tech? Explore the opportunities of the circular economy to deliver innovation in your business and create a positive impact on the planet.

Wednesday 24 November – Turn your Idea into Reality

Take our 50-minute challenge and learn how to turn your business ideas into reality, working in groups or individually to create your own prototype.

Wednesday 1 December – Spotting trends and finding innovation – Teams 1-2pm SR6 2-4pm

Business success lies in studying emerging trends and learning how to use market information to stay ahead of the curve and spot the next big thing. In a 50-minute group challenge, develop a sustainable business proposition using market information and forecasts.

Wednesday 8 December– What can you Learn from Your Competition

Having competition is actually a good thing! In this interactive workshop you will learn how to analyse competition in your market to understand their strengths and weaknesses and uncover the innovation to differentiate your business.

Wednesday 26 January – How to Build Your Business Plan

In an in-depth practical workshop you’ll be guided in how to put together a compelling business plan with the ASPIRE Business Model Canvas focusing on sustainability and inclusion.

Wednesday 3 February – Building a Pop-Up Website

A simple website is a low-cost way to showcase your business idea and get feedback from potential customers.  In this hands-on workshop you’ll be guided through creating the perfect platform to test your ideas and reach your customers.

Wednesday 9 February – Understanding your Customer

Learn how to build and use customer personas to refine your idea, define your marketing strategy and develop your business idea to meet your customers’ needs. In groups or individually, create a customer survey to generate feedback.

Wednesday 16 February – Build Your Marketing Strategy

Understand how you can create compelling content using social media and other channels to reach your customers. Learn how to write a media release and create a video to showcase your business.

Wednesday 23 February – Know your Start-Up Finance and How to Find Funding

Getting to grips with finances can make or break a start-up. In this practical session you’ll learn how to build to break-even and then to profit, understand how to price your business, your start-up costs and cash flow. Our team will offer insights into the different ways you can fund your business.

Wednesday 9 March – What do Investors Want?

Have you got what it takes to walk into the dragons’ den? Find out what investors are looking for in a start-up and how to build an investible business using real-life case studies and examples.

Wednesday 16 March  – How to be Brilliant at Networking

In a hands-on session, learn how you can use networking opportunities effectively – face-to-face and online – to promote your start up. Create professional social media accounts to promote yourself and your business.

Saturday 19 March– Building an Outstanding Pitch Deck

At our extended workshop, you’ll learn which slides you need in your pitch deck to impress potential investors. Create the perfect pitch telling a compelling story and get top tips for presenting to investors, customers and suppliers. Free lunch and refreshments.

Wednesday 23 March – Setting up your Business

How do you start a business in the UK? What legal obligations will you face? In this practical and interactive session you’ll get guidance on all the considerations you will face from Companies House to registering for tax, trademarking and protecting your ideas.

Wednesday 6 April – Pitching Finals

Selected student entrepreneurs step into the dragons den to pitch their business to our panel of expert judges with the chance to win £1,000 to develop their business. Everyone is welcome to join the showcase and celebrate the Business Start-Up Journey programme.

To book your place at the sessions, click here.

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