June

Freelancing and entrepreneurship

Freelancing and entrepreneurship with Charlotte Godfrey, Employability Consultant

Charlotte is an Employability Consultant with the Careers and Employability team at Bath Spa University; she specialises in start-up and enterprise for those dipping their toes into freelancing. Her day-to-day usually consists of 1-2-1 mentoring, and organising and running workshops, which includes bringing in external businesses to give talks on enterprise. She also manages Bath Spa’s enterprise funding awards. On the side, Charlotte runs The Table Gallery with her husband in Corsham. They also write format ideas for broadcast and online.

"I’m definitely always trying to learn something new, that’s for sure."

Working with students

Charlotte’s background as a TV Production Manager, her own work within the freelance realm and her role in producing a project call The Network of Creative Enterprise (supporting creatives in the South West to make a sustainable living from their ideas), has meant that when she arrived at Bath Spa, she was well-equipped to help students get their plans off the ground.

"I’ve always really enjoyed working with new talent... combining that with... developing projects... It’s where my interest is, for sure."

But how does someone make their idea into a potential business? How do people get in touch with someone like Charlotte?

Firstly, students can book a 1-2-1 session with Charlotte via Bath Spa’s Careers website. The Careers team also works closely with academics across Bath Spa, and it’s not unheard of for tutors to approach the team with a particular student in mind – someone whose idea could benefit from guidance.

Charlotte’s area of the Careers website can be found under the Bath Sparks page, which is focused on activity involving enterprise. Students can also be referred to Charlotte after an initial session with another member of the Careers team, such as a session focused on building a CV. Either way, it’s clear that here at Bath Spa, there are multiple ways that students can receive support for building their careers from the ground up, so that they graduate with not only a degree, but a stepping stone into their career.

Involving The Studio

"I think [The Studio] enables you to be more curious with your ideas."

Charlotte is on what’s called the Steering Group for The Studio. Being part of this helps to connect the work of the Careers team, and in turn, students and graduates, with The Studio. This connection helps to align The Studio with students and graduates who may benefit the support of being part of the space.

The Studio brings together individuals whom otherwise may not meet, but all who have a collaborative, innovative and creative outlook. These creative collisions have the power to enable impactful cultural change. Even though The Studio is in its infancy, we hope that we’ll see it being a catalyst for change and progressive creative innovation, and a shared interest in and around Creative Enterprise. Keep your eyes peeled!

"I feel really strongly that to keep [The Studio] open and accessible to as many people at the University, we need to make sure that there is a certain level of student enterprise."

Welcoming Onnos

Onnos is a student-led production company. The students (soon to be graduates) met with Charlotte for the first time just over a year ago. Since then they have been developing their business plan and refining their offer through 1-2-1 support, workshops and signposting to external support. As Bath Spa University is a University partner with Santander, they have also been working closely with Remy Foucher, one of Santander’s Relationship Managers. They have recently won Bath Sparks Explore It funding, to help develop their business, as well as additional CEO funding support from Santander. Onnos are now The Studio’s first residents to The Studio through the Careers team.

The degree of Charlotte’s help depends on the needs of the students she works with, and she is very flexible with the way that she works, ensuring that while support is given, a student’s project is still very much theirs.

"[Onnos’s] success, and for anyone starting out actually, I think having a physical space that you can call your work home, is really important. Having a free space with like-minded people who you can bounce ideas off, you can network with, you can get support from, and you can feel like you can come together on neutral ground, is particularly important when you’ve got a group working within a partnership."

Charlotte emphasises how powerful a space like The Studio is when trying to maintain your own conviction with an idea, as it takes time to earn money from a developing idea or start-up.

The meeting room that we have here at The Studio is incredibly beneficial for start-up entrepreneurs and our other residents as well. Finding space in a coffee shop is unreliable and there’s background noise and a lack of privacy to contend with, but with the space that The Studio can provide, residents such as Onnos can effectively communicate to bring their ideas into fruition.

"[The Studio] is unique, and I think for the University, it’s just the start of something that will grow. It’s a physical way for students, for people who work at the University, and for external individuals and businesses to understand what an important focus creative enterprise is for the organisation as a whole."

It was a pleasure to speak with Charlotte, and to talk more in-depth about entrepreneurship and how Bath Spa are trying to engage their students with the wider world and to think outside their degree bubble – we’ve all been there!

Until next time,

Gemma

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.

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