SETsquared supports socially enterprising students
Leading edge event provides coaching and best practice sharing for university SIFE entrepreneurs
SIFE (http://www.sifeuk.org), which is changing its name to Enactus, is an international organisation that aims to nurture the enterpreneurial skills of students and to develop sustainable social enterprises. It holds a series of competitions, including the upcoming UK national championships in April 2013.
Twenty-five students attended the event, which was held at the offices of Centrica, one of the companies that supports SIFE. The SETsquared Partnership is the enterprise collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, and the participating students came from across the five institutions.
At yesterday's event, the students shared best practice and learnt from each other on how to meet the challenges of creating projects that can make a difference in their communities and overseas, while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders.
"SETsquared is unique in running this kind of event for its SIFE teams - giving them the opportunity to explore their ideas together," said Jim Ineson, Executive Director, Enactus/SIFE UK. "With SETsquared's support, the teams can make the most of the opportunities provided by participating in SIFE."
"We have indvidually learnt new skills in team working and giving presentations today," said Laura Gatz, second year Business Economics student at the University of Exeter. "More importantly this SETsquared event allowed us to get other universities' perspectives on our projects and develop collective solutions to issues we face. This will inspire and strengthen the work our SIFE team does this year."
The SIFE event is part of SETsquared's programme of events that support student entrepreneurship. In 2012, this has included a pitching contest run with Deloitte in March, its Student Enterprise Awards in May, and the Uni Popshop one-day trading competition in June. SETsquared also provides incubation support to over 250 early-stage technology businesses and promotes links between industry and academia.
The team from the University of Southampton is the reigning UK champion, and recently represented the UK in the international SIFE World Cup in Washington DC, USA, where they reached the semi-final.
The SETsquared Partnership ( http://www.setsquared.co.uk) is the enterprise collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. Together, the universities employ 8,500 academic staff; earn £450m of the UK's higher education research budget; and produce 11% of all UK university patents.
The partnership has a 10-year track record of supporting companies through its innovation centres, which provide access to industry specialists, investors and experienced entrepreneurs. SETsquared currently supports over 250 early stage high-tech, high growth potential businesses, and 90% of its incubated companies are still in business three years on. In the past five years, nearly £0.75bn in investment funding has been raised by spin outs and incubated companies.
SETsquared supports its student population of over 92,000 graduate and undergraduates to gain hands on business skills and entrepreneurial training through experiential inter-university activities. The Partnership also provides opportunities for industry to access academic ideas with commercial potential and develops collaborative R&D relationships. The Partnership seeks to promote the impact, economically and socially, of its institutions' research and enterprise activities.