The Masood Enterprise Centres Enterprise Summer School took place over four days in Grange-over-Sands last week with 30 postgraduate students from around the university aiming to identify business opportunities based on social problems in the area.
Whilst Grange-over-sands is an attractive well kept Victorian town on Morecambe Bay, there is an increasingly elderly population, a lack of facilities for young people, some high profile derelict properties, limited opportunities for local businesses to expand and it tends to be overshadowed by the Lake District for attracting tourists.
Working in multidisciplinary teams, the postgraduates learned about opportunity recognition, team working, market research and finance – but a big part of the school is students talking with local businesses and potential customers, with students speaking to local people including patients in a doctors waiting room, tourists walking on the promenade - and even the town mayor - to obtain a richer understanding of the issues the town faces.
The Enterprise School had tutors from the Masood Enterprise Centre and FSE Researcher Development, and were joined for two of the days by entrepreneurs Amy Win, San Tou and Erin McDermott who, as well as sharing their stories, held a “speed mentoring” session which helped the students focus their ideas. The evening's social activities included walking along the promenade and visiting the town’s two pubs which facilitated further networking.
The ideas presented to the judging panel (and the other participants for a “Peoples Vote”) on the last day included refurbishing the towns famous lido for use as an event space, a platform pairing young people wanting to learn English with the elderly needing help with household chores and a platform for small businesses creating local food produce to sell more widely.
Since its inception in 2009, the Enterprise School has run for 11 consecutive years, with more than 400 students having participated overall. For more details contact Dr Robert A. Phillips Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org