University's Enterprise Exchange day connects budding student entrepreneurs and business professionals

Wednesday, 15 November, 2017

Final year BA (Hons) Business and Management students from Bath Spa University’s Bath Business School took part in an Enterprise Exchange day last week, gaining experience on how to set up and run their own businesses.

26 students visited The Hive Business Centre in Weston Super-Mare where they were given a tour of the business incubator facility. They attended talks by entrepreneurs and learnt how they could develop their business ideas. They also had the opportunity to share their ideas and get career advice during a networking lunch.

Business and Management student Grace Evangelos said: “Meeting staff from The Hive businesses and support services has given me the confidence to turn my business idea into a sustainable service.”

Business and Management student Emily Butler added: “The Hive entrepreneurs gave us valuable advice that we can apply to our own business ideas. The visit provided a real insight into what makes a business successful.”

The visit was hosted by Paul Lucock and Bea Symington from the North Somerset Council as part of an entrepreneurial exchange initiative launched earlier this year by Professor Georgina Andrews, Dean of Bath Spa University’s Bath Business School.

Gareth Stone, Entrepreneurship Pathway Leader at Bath Spa University, commented: “It was great to see our students using skills learned at university to interact professionally with entrepreneurs in a business context.”

Rob Hicks, Business Development Manager at The Hive, said: “It was great to be able to involve our tenants in the day. Special thanks to Ian Fisher from QED and Bob Bailey from Xenint who each presented during the event and highlighted learning points that have driven the growth of their businesses. The key for me was hearing that innovation, creativity and not fearing change are fantastic drivers on the road to success.”

Angela Hicks, Chief Executive Officer of the North Somerset Enterprise Agency, added: “We were delighted to showcase The Hive and the wider work of the enterprise agency and to hear from students about their own aspirations for developing future businesses.”

After visiting The Hive students were taken to well-known family-run business Thatchers in Somerset. They were taken on a tour of the Cider Press facility and learnt about the production process, the company’s ambitions for growth and career opportunities.

Stephen Penfold, Field Sales Manager at Thatchers, said: “We are committed to raising awareness of the very varied career opportunities within our family-run company. As part of our careers programme, the visit by Bath Spa University was an opportunity for us to showcase the opportunities at Myrtle Farm and the ambitions that can be achieved here. The students were a delight to host.”

Founded in 2015, the Bath Business School at Bath Spa University offers 17 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to around 850 students.

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