The University of Portsmouth runs a programme of events and opportunities to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week
This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week (13-19 November) – the world's largest entrepreneurship festival, celebrated in 180 countries.
The week is an annual global celebration of entrepreneurship and start-ups to promote and empower entrepreneurs across the world – especially those individuals who face barriers or may never have considered starting a business before.
Each year, the University of Portsmouth runs a programme of events and opportunities to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week and its budding entrepreneurs – and this year is no different. The Student Startup Team in Careers and Employability is hosting a series of events and activities which include:
- The Changemaker Challenge is a one-day event that provides a chance for students to engage with local employers and organisations and develop a solution to solve a real-world challenge they are facing.
- The Inspire Me session aims to motivate and inspire by showcasing a speakers' startup journey and experience. The speaker is Henry Brenton, a 2023 graduate of the University, who launched his creative production agency Farfly Media in 2021. His work has led him to be awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Portsmouth News Business Excellence Awards in 2022.
- Startup funding applications open and Portsmouth students and graduates can apply for up to £3,000 from Santander Universities to test an idea or progress their startup to the next stage.
Every year, around four per cent of new graduates either start businesses or work for themselves. At the University of Portsmouth, we are passionate about helping our students recognise that this could be them, and so we equip our students and graduates with the skills, knowledge, networks - and confidence - to try this for themselves.
Marc Lintern, Director of Student Employability and Employment at the University of Portsmouth, said: “Every year, around four per cent of new graduates either start businesses or work for themselves. At the University of Portsmouth, we are passionate about helping our students recognise that this could be them, and so we equip our students and graduates with the skills, knowledge, networks - and confidence - to try this for themselves. As many of our entrepreneurs will say, why put up with working for somebody else, when you can work for yourself.”
The University is proud to offer a number of programmes, initiatives and support for its staff, students and graduates to develop entrepreneurial skills, get startup advice or build a business.
Students can take on a self-employed placement year (SEP) on most of our undergraduate courses. They do their placement between the second and third years of study, replacing the traditional placement year in industry with starting and running a business of their own.
The Enterprise Programme provides participants with the skills, confidence and competencies to help them become a more enterprising individual that can enhance their career and if they choose to, to eventually become their own boss.
Our Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) offer business start-up advice to our students, alumni or staff to launch or grow their business. Our current team of experienced entrepreneurs and senior level business executives use their experience to help others plan, develop, network and market their new business. In return, our Entrepreneurs in Residence benefit from access to our research, events and partnerships across the University.
Innovation Connect offers business support, guidance and shared office space across the city. It can also introduce users to new and exciting local companies and startups, and provide access to business networks, such as the Female Entrepreneurs Network.
The Female Entrepreneurs Network runs regular free events for female business owners to help them connect with other entrepreneurs across the south and learn from other business owners. The University also offers support for women entrepreneurs and start-ups through toolkits from the Accelerating Women’s Enterprise project funded by the European Regional Development Fund. If you’re a woman running, or thinking of running your own business, listen to our podcast series.
Case study - Ella Roffey
Ella Roffey is a final-year graphic design student and freelance graphic designer. She was highly commended at the University’s EnterpriseFest awards in the category 'One to Watch', she won the Self-Employment Placement of the year award in the University’s Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries and has won numerous other awards this year.
Ella has completed the self-employment placement year, received startup funding, designed the Changemaker Challenge materials and graphics and is engaged with the StartUp Team.
She said: “While taking part in the self-employment placement year, I was given more support and opportunities than I could have ever imagined. I started the year with an idea, no confidence, and no idea where to start, but the placement staff were amazing from start to finish.
“When I started the placement year, I was guided through creating an effective and detailed business plan as well as learning everything I needed to know about the legal side of self-employment. Staff were available for appointments to help me through anything I wasn’t quite sure about. This gave me an amazing starting point to launch my business and greatly increased my confidence.
“The next step was to start growing my business. The University provided me with lots of opportunities and advice to help improve my pitching and public speaking skills, which led to me winning funding for an iPad Pro to help me introduce more services to my business. I made so many useful connections while attending networking events, both set up and recommended by the University, and started to book more clients.
“After winning my award at Enterprise Fest, my business really took off. My confidence has grown so much, I was regularly public speaking raising awareness of my business and taking more and more bookings. Before I knew it, I was noticed by the South of England prestige awards and won freelance graphic designer of the year 2023. I am now fully booked for the rest of the year and was awarded self-employment placement student of the year.
“I am still pushing my business and grabbing every opportunity I can to give myself the best chance of being able to finish university and go straight into full-time self-employment.