Entrepreneurs launch sports FlyingStart at Wolves

- focused on sports businesses in the UK.Flying Start

Wolverhampton Wanderers, under their boss, businessman Steve Morgan, have teamed up with the University of Wolverhampton to help create a new generation of UK graduate sports entrepreneurs.

Karen Bill, an expert in this specialist field from the University, and the FlyingStart Team at the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE) worked with Wolves to create a new development programme for sports-related businesses and social enterprises.

From Monday to Wednesday this week 20 entrepreneurs will be taking part in workshops and courses through the FlyingStart Programme for Sports Business. The scheme is the first of its kind and includes football- and sports-related enterprise challenges with a sports business focus.

The NCGE runs successful intensive business creation FlyingStart Programmes for Wolves Logostudents and graduates of English universities, encouraging untapped potential to flourish.

“This new FlyingStart Programme addresses an area ripe for enterprise that hasn’t been directly supported before,” said David Benson, FlyingStart Events Coordinator.

“With our partners, this week we’re delivering the first three-day intensive course of a specialist programme for current students, graduates and members of the football community who wish to start businesses in the area of social entrepreneurship in sport – especially those in the West Midlands.”

Karen Bill, Associate Dean (Research and Income Generation) at the School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “The development of this Programme was well timed. I am passionate about getting entrepreneurship into the sports curriculum.

“The catalyst for me was the recent white paper ‘Enterprise Unlocking the UK’s Talent’ in which the Government announced the development of initiatives working with the English Premier League football clubs to roll out enterprise education programmes.”

She said the FlyingStart programme seemed an ideal place to begin and enter into discussions with Wolverhampton Wanderers and the NCGE. The 12-month programme of training, mentoring and business support is free for all participants.

Matt Grayson, Head of Marketing and Communications for Wolverhampton Wanderers, said: “With the development of football in the UK, and sport in general, there are lots of opportunities for ambitious young business people. We’re delighted that Wolves are the first football club in the country to support a scheme of this type, which will provide practical help to the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Each participant will work through their business concept – ranging from sports coaching, to equipment and apparel, to running sports camps and amateur football leagues, to martial arts, web technologies and more - with experienced advisors and mentors on hand to challenge their concepts and watch them pitch on the final day.

The Flying Start Programme will fully support participants to develop and condition their enterprise proposition and to provide support, assistance and mentoring to get their enterprise started and running successfully by March 2010.

Each receives their own personal mentor who will work with the candidate throughout the 12 month start-up and launch period. The sports workshops will take place from June 8-10 at Molineux. Anyone interested in FlyingStart should register on www.flyingstartonline.com.

Further information

For further media information, contact Emma Kilvert, Media Relations Manager at the University of Wolverhampton, on 07971 091 034 or E.Kilvert@wlv.ac.uk, or Matt Grayson, Head of Communications and Marketing for Wolverhampton Wanderers, on 01902 828376 or mattgrayson@wolves.co.uk.


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