Plymouth Enterprise Week celebrates sustainable success

A celebration of social enterprise and sustainability will be at the heart of Plymouth’s programme for Global Entrepreneurship Week this month.

Plymouth Sustainable Enterprise Week will feature a host of events, competitions and high profile launches aimed at celebrating and stimulating entrepreneurial development and success in the city and region.

Among them will be advice sessions for those in business or considering starting up their own company; the return of annual favourites FLUX and Breaking Into Media; and the unveiling of the new University Enterprise Network (UEN) for Social Enterprise.

Plymouth University will be leading the UEN, working with a number of other universities, the Co-Operative Group, SERCO and several public sector bodies to establish a network that will support social enterprise and help higher education institutions grow their own sustainable businesses.

The launch will be held on Thursday 17 November, and will form part of a University-wide celebration of social enterprise in the Rolle Building on campus, with networking opportunities, exhibitions and clinics throughout the day.

Project lead Judith Reynolds, a governor at Plymouth University and a social enterprise expert, said: "There is great potential here in Plymouth to lead this national project, in partnership with three other universities across the UK. Plymouth has a strong history of innovative social enterprises and of applying social enterprise solutions to a wide range of issues.

“We believe that a genuine collaboration of this kind is essential to the development of a knowledge-based and sustainable economy. Social enterprise is a vital ingredient, because of the added social value it brings to economic success."

Monday 14 November sees the annual Breaking into Media event hosted in the Roland Levinsky Building, and organised by Plymouth Media Partnership (PM-P) in Association with the Royal Television Society. Hundreds of students interested in a career in the media are expected to attend, and special guests this year will be the team behind Channel 5’s hit series The Hotel Inspector. As part of the event, The Devon and Cornwall Student Royal Television Society Awards are also taking place, with a number of creative Plymouth University students among the shortlisted hopefuls.

Monday also sees a One Stop Ideas Shop in the Link Building, where a panel of experts from PATLIB UK, Plymouth University, Business Link, NJ Akers & Co Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys and Tamar Science Park will be on hand to provide business advice.

The annual FLUX student enterprise competition will be held on Wednesday 16 November, at Foot Anstey’s offices in Sutton Harbour, in which teams of six will develop, plan and present a business strategy, in a bid to win a cash prize and a chance to represent Plymouth University in the national final.

There is an international flavour to the week as well, with the University hosting several guests from Sri Lanka. Among them will be former President of the Tourist Hotels Association in Sri Lanka, Srilal Miththapala, who will give two talks on how Sri Lanka has both rebranded itself and become a more sustainability-orientated tourist destination. Munazza Rafeek, the Sri Lankan student who won the Apprentice-style IDEATORS 2010 competition, in which two Plymouth University students also competed, will also visit to participate in the Enterprise Week acitivities.

On Thursday 17 November, some 60 students will subject themselves to a nerve-wracking Hot Seat Competition, where they will be grilled by a panel chosen from 25 employers, in front of an audience, all for the chance of securing the £300 first prize.

The Plymouth University Inter-Schools Business Challenge takes place the following day, with pupils tasked with product design and business planning activities. And the Plymouth Biz Event, being staged in the Plymouth Guildhall, will offer advice and guidance to those considering self-employment from a range of organisations including Outset Plymouth, HM Revenue and Customs, Plymouth City Council, Job Centre Plus, Business Information Point and Plymouth University.

Tracy Wilson, Head of Corporate Marketing at the University, and a member of the city’s Enterprise Week Coordination Group, said: “It is vital that we champion and encourage enterprise and sustainability in all of its forms, because they are intrinsically linked to economic prosperity and social wellbeing.

“Plymouth is recognised on a national stage for being an enterprising city, and by working in partnership to deliver initiatives such as Plymouth Enterprise Week, we can inspire the next generation of budding, sustainability-minded entrepreneurs. I am so proud that, in our 150th anniversary year, we’ve been able to coordinate with the city such an amazing programme of events for Enterprise Week with something for everyone.”

about events during Plymouth Sustainable Enterprise Week visit

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