Students have been working with Black Country businesses on an innovative pilot scheme to boost entrepreneurial skills.
Unipreneur Challenge has seen teams of University of Wolverhampton students tackling challenging projects to help businesses and boost their own skills.
Businesses on board with the scheme include a law firm, housing association and charity and students have been looking at various areas including marketing and fundraising.
The scheme, launched with the University’s School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications, is aimed at promoting and developing entrepreneurial skills for young people and nurturing relationships with businesses in the regions.
The students took entrepreneurial ‘scans’ to assess their strengths, along with workshops to develop best practices before focusing their skills within the businesses for several weeks.
Clare Thomas, Fundraising and Marketing Manager for Beacon Centre for the Blind which is among the businesses involved in the Challenge, asked the students to work on a fundraising task. She said: “I was very impressed by their enthusiasm and grasp of the challenges which Beacon Centre faces and I am sure that they can bring a fresh perspective to these challenges.”
Derek Simmonds, of Talbots law firm in Stourbridge, said he had found the students very hard-working and enthusiastic. “I have a long-held belief that there is far more to be done in forging links between employers and education. There are many benefits to be gained for businesses and for students,” he said.
Student participant Katrina Calvin said: “I already had the focus and the determination and the drive to succeed. The Unipreneur Challenge has helped me to develop a more business mind-set. I am more driven to start my own business now.”
Unipreneur is the brainchild of Gary Lennon, founder of Wist Ltd. He hopes to expand the scheme in the future and is delighted with the positive feedback from the pilot.
Official presentations will take place this week and an overall winner announced, with an awards evening at the Beacon Centre for the Blind later this month.
For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736