Steve Westgarth, Head of Engineering for healthcare giant Boots UK, shared his secrets to career success at the Entrepreneurs@Manchester speaker series hosted online by the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre (MEC), part of Alliance Manchester Business School.
Self-confessed ‘IT techy’ Steve Westgarth joined MEC Director Lynn Sheppard in an open conversation and talked candidly about his early-life entrepreneurial journey, and how the skills and experience learned over time provided him with the knowledge and credibility to secure a highly sought-after career by the age of 30. He opened up about the challenges he faced and the lessons learnt along the way.
From launching Footsqueek, a mobile app development start-up straight out of university to founding CodeMobile, a conference designed exclusively for Mobile App Developers, Steve has a knack for acting upon opportunities. As a passionate leader with a continuous drive to create an impact, Steve has in recent years been working as Head of Engineering for Boots UK where he has responsibility for the digital transformation of the UK's largest Health and Beauty Retailer.
Steve offered some useful insights into his journey, and shared with the audience some key learnings he had inherited as well as some pointers for success:
- Starting a business early on encourages you to ‘find yourself’ and understand where your true passion lies, helping you to focus on what it is you want to achieve
- Running a business offers an insight into yourself as an individual; recognising your strengths and weaknesses including how well you respond to different pressures and demands
- Take advice from the support networks around you - their thoughts and suggestions are often based on real-life experience
- The best time to start a business is during, or right after University, when often or not you have no real responsibility or financial commitments
- Starting your own business does not mean you have to do it forever. Give it a go and if it doesn’t work out, you will have gained invaluable experience which cannot be learnt through employment.
Towards the end of the event, Lynn asked Steve what advice he would give to anyone starting out with a business idea. Steve suggested ‘to understand exactly what it is you are offering.’ He added: ‘have a niche focus, don’t try and offer everybody everything!’
Steve Westgarth was speaking as part of the Entrepreneurs@Manchester speaker series organised by the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre.
If you’re a student or recent graduate of The University of Manchester and have an idea for a business then please do get in touch with us at email@example.com