The Business opportunities you can experience at University

Two men standing and smiling at siemens

How Matthew Nash has made the most out of his time at the University of Portsmouth. Joining Enactus and developing his own business venture 'Crown Plants' in his second year.

  • 21 March 2022
  • 9 min read

Why did you choose to study Business Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Portsmouth?

During my A-levels, I studied Computer Science and Economics, and got really interested in technology and finance. Throughout the year, I became more interested in small businesses, and this influenced my decision when looking for universities. When I came for an Open Day at the University of Portsmouth and saw the business faculty and the opportunities that the departments offered, I got very excited about studying the BA (Hons) Business Management and Entrepreneurship course.

I had always loved creating projects and events to share with others. I became even more passionate about this during my A-levels. My dad becoming self-employed a couple of years ago also inspired me. My drive was to create something alongside my studies in the 3 years that I would be at the University of Portsmouth, much like the students that I had seen at Open Days.

Desktop computer with crown logo

The chance to take part in a team of students to build social ventures appealed to me considering this was the focus of the Business Venturing module and my course as a whole. It would be a valuable experience that would allow me to really understand what I had been studying by putting it into practice.

Matthew Nash , BA (Hons) Business Management and Entrepreneurship

What was your experience like in Enactus?

I first noticed Enactus, a global foundation facilitating student social entrepreneurship, on the business venturing course – where we had the opportunity to pitch our social venture to the Enactus team. This seemed like a good opportunity to work with others on existing projects.

I had competed in the Hult prize, an international competition with many rounders where students pitch their business idea that is tailored to one of the UN sustainable development goals – concluding with a final round of pitches with the top teams from across the globe. I was eager to take part in as many more activities as I could in my spare time. In Enactus, I was asked to join the Eco-ratio project as a researcher to create a website selling healthy meal kits made from unwanted products. The profits of this venture would be donated to provide free meals to children in Portsmouth who are vulnerable to food insecurity. The Enactus team is very understanding and allow you to set your active hours throughout the week and help you to reach milestones. 

Terrarium

Without these projects and opportunities my time at university would not have been the same. It allowed me to take on some serious challenges that would create real impact for the end customers, stakeholders and social objectives.

Matthew Nash , BA (Hons) Business Management and Entrepreneurship

How did the opportunities at the University of Portsmouth help with your new business venture?

Both Enactus and the Eco Society had a hand in motivating me to start my own venture. Despite not being able to attend anything in-person, the access to the team, university staff and other entrepreneurship, business and law students helped me pursue my goals.

I began my venture called ‘Crown Plants’ with the aim to gather and deliver all the components needed to create simple but great quality enclosed glass terrariums, houseplants, home-plants and home products with all the resources, including the plants, mosses, soil and hardscape elements. Throughout this process, I’ve been in constant contact with Student Start-up and other students on my course, who have offered advice and support. Being able to do this alongside my studies has been incredibly satisfying, despite how difficult Covid-19 made things. I have made a couple of sales so far and have big plans for the future.

The support facilities have been fantastic, the Student Start-Up team, Enactus team, the Hult prize team and the university staff have been invaluable and supportive, and have opened up opportunities for me.

There’s loads of freedom to explore your interests and business ideas that you may have developed in the first year for the Business Innovation Development Project module. You can develop these with your peers or friends, or just your own. 

Matthew Nash working on a laptop

The reward for these kinds of things is limitless, you can find yourself in contact with some very influential people just by discussing what you would like to gain out of it. By taking a small amount of time out of your busy schedule to see what projects are underway, you can end up finding some really interesting opportunities to take part in.

Matthew Nash , BA (Hons) Business Management and Entrepreneurship