Enterprise for all…

Enterprise for all…

This morning I have been engrossed in reading Lord Young’s report “Enterprise for all”. This comes off the back of being fortunate enough to be invited to join Julie Holland (Director of the Glendonbrook Centre for Enterprise in Loughborough), Professor Angus Laing (Dean of Loughborough School of Business and Economics) and Stuart Miller (Entrepreneur in residence of Glendonbrook centre for enterprise – although I am not sure if he was their in that capacity or in another of his many roles) for the Small Business Charter awards  in which Loughborough received a Silver award.

Professor Angus Laing At 10 Downing Street collecting a silver accreditation for the Small Business Charter Awards
At Downing Street for the Small Business Charter Awards

So back to Lord Young’s report. The report carries 10 core recommendations that look at how we can create captive, continuous and coherent enterprise education. Here they are:

1) The publication of a Future Employment and Earnings Record after leaving education – Allowing potential university and college students to make more informed decisions about courses they should study. It’s an interesting proposal, I think it is extremely valuable to know more about university degree programmes potential for future earning whilst I also recognise that money is not the only factor that should and/or is considered. Although I do recognise that from my point of view, as someone who didn’t want to come to uni and was nudged by parents, it wouldn’t have been a factor. For me, Universities need to continue to develop outreach programmes using engaging students and recent grads to entice and invigorate college students that university is the right option. Further, I would echo the thoughts of Dave Jarman (Enterprise Educator) in the essence of although in principle it is a great idea it is so important not to rush/ hash the implementation (That only takes a small element of the blog – would recommend a read on some of the other thoughts) without looking at the current market. In summary this whole sector of entrepreneurship and data collection is so busy and to be honest it just feels at times that everyone is falling over everyone else in terms of help, support and surveys which is certainly a better situation than no one talking about it but lets be lean and utilise technology to make it better!

2) Developing an Enterprise passport – Essentially a digital approved record of activities outside of curriculum undertaken by students (Crudely speaking essentially LinkedIn projects with recommendations for young people) This is a concept I really like, although I recognise it would be difficult I would be fascinated to learn more about Young Enterprises thoughts on how they see it being implemented as one of the developers of the idea. I also love the data potential for this, if you could collect meaningful information (i.e. not just someone saying they have been involved in something without really engaging) it would allow potential for employers to decide between candidates but also provide potential businesses a route into understanding customers interests better… (I imagine this will make many squirm around the concept of more data being available, especially for young people, but we need to just get over it … sorry potential rant on not understanding social media … another blog post I feel) I do wonder whether platforms like LinkedIn will move into the younger generations, as a feeder for their main platform and with the opportunity to link to employers (in particular recruiters) already on the platform, with a slightly altered offering that can capture the information and verification in an innovative manner that government cannot compete with.

My challenge as a recent graduate with a genuine interest and passion in the sector is how do I stay involved…

I will tackle the next recommendations and my thoughts in follow on blogs on the particular topic areas of enterprise in school, further education and in higher education… 

Engage, Network, Action, Count, Take notes, Up your game and Steal ideas – Last minute tips for Enactus UK nationals… #weallwin

we all win

So as my fourth national competition closes in I thought I would share some last minute tips for all those newbies around…

Engage in the presentations– When you are watching the teams, as tempting as it is to compare to your own team,  open your minds… It is so easy to spend your time looking critically rather than seeing how you could apply their thinking or angle for your own teams benefit. You can’t change what you have done now anyway so just enjoy!

Network – utilise the opportunity to get great contacts (phone numbers, linkedin, emails, facebook) with the businesses but also remember the incredible value of having other teams and alumni that you can pick up the phone and speak to during the year or in the rest of your life… Genuinely one of the best assets you can have is awesome people to understand your situation and give you advice who have been there and done it or are doing it!

Action – Apply your thoughts and findings within your Enactus team. It is so easy to give excuses or reasons why you can’t do something.. or its in preparation for next year! I did it many times… Don’t… You have one shot at Enactus – have no regrets and do everything you can to make good things happen.

Count the annual reports– The annuals reports are a great asset to collect from other teams. They provide insight that you simply would not get from just the presentations or websites… So get entrepreneurial and work out how you are going to get as many as possible.

Take Notes … You will leave nationals will a million awesome ideas but as soon as the adrenaline and after party hangover come over you… You won’t remember them! It really is as simple as writing down links to  presentations and websites or just key ideas. Also get out your diary now….. yes now…. and put in a time next week when you WILL review them. (Remember no excuses)

Up your game – Nationals is the inspiration but really the only person that can make the most of it is YOU. You are the lucky ones who have been selected from your teams so use this experience and get the most for your team… When you get back you will be changed from the experience, don’t forget the knowledge and experience you are gaining is extremely valuable.

Steal ideas – no really do it… don’t be afraid to take the best parts of other teams ideas… It is not all about coming up with a new way of thinking sometimes it is simply about adapting other peoples into your situation and network to make them better. We are a social enterprise based organisation at the end of the day! #weallwin


Over the next two days you have the opportunity to transform yourselves, your teams and your potential future career. Make the most of it.

In regards to N, to get you started teams feel free to get in touch if you think I can help or would like to chat. @peterwb1 Linkedin

Here’s another awesome post Enactus UK Blog


The Cult of Entrepreneurship

The fine lines between proactivity and entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship, as we all, know is a huge buzz word at the moment. Whereas once people grew up wanting to be an astronaut or a hippy we are now seeing a generation wanting to be the next Richard Branson, Mark Zuckenburg or Alan Sugar. Myself included.


Karan Bilimoria – Founder of Cobra Beer

While it is admirable, having this ambition to fuel the world’s growth and sounds rather appealing to be earning $2.5 billion in a year, the truth is they are the exception not the rule. The process of creating a multi-billion or even million dollar concept involves so many long hours, character traits and a bit of luck along the way.

So this leads me to my big question… Is pro-activity amongst a cult of university students to do something bigger than themselves, just that… a cult or can we truly change the world?


The Kairos UK Summit

Or is that even the right question? Do we really have a choice… Are we not the generation that has to solve the world’s problems?

Our parent’s generation have given us an incredible platform, for the first time we can communicate almost instantaneously with countries all around the world at low cost, we have the technology to start to tackle climate change and connectivity to get access to pretty much anything we want any time of the day through the internet. If you were looking at it in technology terms you would say we had the platform from which to build the subsidies that can change our world.

But with these rapid developments we have problems. We are going into a generation where unskilled people are being replaced by machines, which will, whether government intervenes or not cause huge structure economical skill differences between what we need and what we have. We are now more aware than ever before of the scale of: cancer, poverty, corruption, lack of education and the environmental impacts we are causing. We cannot, whether through ignorance or otherwise, turn a blind eye to these problems as people have a voice through the power of social media and other online forums.


Matt and Me presenting at the South Africa Challenge Showcase

So this leads me to one simple conclusion, whether it’s entrepreneurship or good old fashioned pro-activity, we have a responsibility to take action. We need to be the generation that is willing, to think differently, to be ambitious and push our generation forward. This does not mean more replicas of great ideas because you “think you can do it better” unless you actually can do it better! One lesson we need to remember from those we are following is those that succeed, and I am referring to the Nelson Mandelas and Martin Luther Kings of this world, were, and in Nelson Mandela’s case are, obsessed that they could change things and were willing to die for it.

So let’s do this, it is our moment.