Enterprising Students Given a Helping Hand; ENTREPRENEURSHIP Advertising Feature

Article excerpt

JMU's Liverpool Business School is committed to helping companies and budding entrepreneurs contribute to the economic development of Merseyside. Below are two examples of how they are making this happen

LIVERPOOL Business School is running a Graduate Enterprise scheme for undergraduates with the help of business advisers Howard Woodcock from Bibby Line and Cris McGuiness from KPMG.

The Graduate Enterprise scheme is a branch of Young Enterprise, which operates in schools and sixth form colleges. A small number of universities have run pilot schemes and, in 1999/2000, JMU was the first university in the North West to introduce such a scheme.

Students can now set up their own "company" as part of their studies. Assessment for academic credit will not depend on whether the company succeeds or fails, but on the learning gained by the experience, demonstrated by producing a portfolio of evidence, a report and a presentation to their tutors and business advisors.

The students are supported by the Young Enterprise Company which provides a pack of information, insurance and the services of their team.

The students set up a company, write a business plan, open a business bank account, sell share capital, market their product or service and deal with the HR issues. They have the assistance of a tutor, two business advisers and the resources of the university.

This year a group of accountancy and finance students have come up with a design for an innovative product under the guidance of tutor Bridget Price. In addition, the students have received invaluable advice from business incubator Hothouse on how to protect their design. Bridget said: "This is a very exciting and rewarding experience for the students to 'practise' their business idea in a safe environment."

The amount of work involved for the students and the difficulties of working together, very often self-directed, is both a challenge and a wonderful learning experience.

One of the previous group, having recently returned from a placement year with Hewlett Packard, is now giving her time to advise this year's students of the pitfalls and how to avoid them.

The Business School is considering lengthening the time that students are able to spend on this scheme, thus allowing further development of their ideas. The school would also like to extend the number of students working on the scheme, opening it up to students from around the university to allow differing skill mixes, as you would have in any small business.

Liverpool Business School is committed to playing a major part in the economic development of Merseyside and the North West, and the development of future entrepreneurs is one of its major objectives. It prides itself on the employability of its students and believes that this innovative entrepreneurial approach to the traditional undergraduate degree will give students a significant career advantage.

Additional business advisors will be needed to support the students, and any interested business person should contact Bridget Price on 0151-231 3830.

AN academic team led by Ann Mulhaney from the Liverpool Business School is currently working in partnership with P&R Laboratory Group of St Helens on a two-year TCS Programme.

The aim is to audit key business and information processes and to structure and redesign these processes to support planned and future growth.

The programme recruited JMU graduate Jackie Hughes in July 2000 to facilitate the twoyear scheme. This has involved an in-depth analysis of the company in order to facilitate a business process re-engineering exercise. The intended result is to achieve streamlined business processes, supported by a fully integrated IT information system in line with ISO 9001:2000 accreditation. …