Bootcamp hones business skills for brightest entrepreneurs

With ideas ranging from lingerie brands to student cookery websites, 17 aspiring entrepreneurs were drilled in all things business at the University’s Entrepreneurs Bootcamp.

Bootcamp 2017 delegates. Credit: Seabrook Media

Entrepreneurs Bootcamp December 2017

The annual event is hosted at Weetwood Hall in Headingley and run by Spark, the dedicated business start-up service at the University’s Careers Centre.

Bootcamp is a tough and intensive experience, with masterclasses delivered by Spark’s professional service advisers on practical topics such as business planning, intellectual property, finance, law and market research.

Each of the 2017 delegates have already won an Enterprise Scholarship worth £3000 to help develop their businesses. All have access to Spark’s advisors, mentors and business experts, as well as the opportunity to use top-class incubator space from which to develop their businesses. 

Second year Management with Marketing student, Safiyyah Hafiji, aspires to launch a record label for Islamic musicians, which would see her become the first Muslim woman to work in the Islamic music industry: “There’s a big gap here and I know what I want to do and have so many ideas as to how to make this happen. Bootcamp has been fantastic because it’s helped me structure these ideas and given me time to really focus on what my next steps need to be to get it right. It’s also given me confidence to take this idea forward.”

Asad Ali, Partner at Blacks Solicitors, has been working with Spark entrepreneurs since 2010. He says: “Once again, this year’s cohort continue to impress by demonstrating innovative ideas and approaches to business that are not only viable but highly likely to succeed. It’s such a pleasure working with Spark entrepreneurs.”

The secret to the University’s success in building community spirit around enterprise is a strong institutional commitment to provide support at every level, says Kairen Skelley, who heads up Spark. She says: “The University has been embedding enterprise into the curriculum for ten years, so the numbers and quality of the aspiring entrepreneurs and their business propositions grows year on year. And thanks to the generosity of so many University alumni, we can offer opportunities to develop enterprise skills at every turn, including a raft of prizes and scholarships and invaluable mentorship and contacts.” 
Banner image: Weetwood Hall Estate

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