University of Hertfordshire
An enterprising journey
“The prize will really help to further the business…There will be lots of exciting changes coming and it’s all thanks to flare and the University.”
Lucy, Flare competition winner
The University of Hertfordshire places employability at the heart of all they do. This vital area is an integral part of their Strategic Plan and one way of supporting this vision and mission is to embrace innovation and enterprise.
The University provides intra and extra curricula education and support for enterprise activities that students and graduates can pick up as part of a ‘journey’.
The first phase of the journey ‘Creative Mind-sets’ centres around inspiring creativity and promoting self-development and supports graduate attributes; generating ideas, problem-solving and team working. The skills involved in this phase can be used either to promote employability in making students and graduates more employable, or as the first step in start-up activity.
The second phase ‘Innovation and Enterprise’ aims to turn creativity into a fully-formed concept; an idea almost ready to launch but additional skills and business knowledge are required such as proof of concept, proof of market and business planning.
The final phase ‘Entrepreneurship – Supporting Start-ups’ supports students with fully-formed ideas looking to develop their business further. Examples of support include workshops, investment (both in-kind and monetary), research support and use of incubation facilities. The University is also part of the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Scheme meaning that entrepreneurial international graduates can benefit from this support after graduation too.
Extra curricular activities support this journey including Flare – an annual start-up competition open to students at partner institutions around the world – where winners gain publicity, support and funding towards their business. Students can also join Herts Entrepreneurs, the University’s student entrepreneurs society which has a range of activities. To remain innovative the University continually reviews activities looking to improve and expand the student offer, driven by demand and linking closely with the University’s cutting-edge research areas to anticipate future trends.
As a result, new initiatives include a structured Business Start-Up programme and an Enterprise Fund, linking closely with alumni for funding and mentoring.
To find out more, visit www.herts.ac.uk