As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Universities Scotland is highlighting how universities in Scotland are embedding entrepreneurship and enterprise in students and staff. Across eight blogs this week, we have experts the length and breadth of Scotland telling their stories about how universities are contributing to make Scotland an entrepreneurial nation.
Our fourth blog this week comes from Deborah Keogh, the Knowledge Exchange Manager at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In her blog, Deborah talks about RCS has gone about delivering more enterprise and entrepreneurship support for both staff and students since 2015.
RCS has delivered a step change in the provision of enterprise and entrepreneurship support for students and staff since 2015.
In line with Making It Happen, and with support from the University Innovation Fund, we have developed a raft of new offers for students to support their creative enterprise ambitions and inspire them to think about the widest possible application of their skills and talents as they enter their professional fields. For our staff, we have broadened the scope and range of our staff research and knowledge exchange awards programme, Athenaeum Awards, in order to sow the seeds for enterprise and innovation and to develop a pipeline of business propositions.
Particular highlights include the development of Make It Happen Month for our students. Piloted on a small scale in November 2017, we created a month long series of evening events, workshops and seminars on getting ideas, projects, collaborations and companies off the ground. With over 180 attendances, the series is packed full of great insights, the latest developments and thinking in industry and space to explore opportunities for our students’ wide range of skills and talents. Make It Happen Month creates momentum, energy and engagement in creative enterprise. It’s running again this month and offers a fantastic opportunity for students to expand their knowledge in areas such as raising money, creating an online brand and audience, writing proposals and setting up a company.
‘Initiatives like this are vital for developing ideas and building sustainable businesses here in Scotland and it’s great to have the Royal Conservatoire’s support to commence the fellowship business development programme. Thanks must also go to RCS for providing seed funding back in 2016 through their Athenaeum Award, which allowed me to develop the initial concept.” Stephen Roe
Other highlights include the success of a member of our production staff, Stephen Roe, as the recipient of the Conservatoire’s first RSE Enterprise Fellowship. With a business idea that emerged from our Athenaeum Awards for Knowledge Exchange and some ongoing support and advice, he was a semi-finalist on Converge Challenge after which he went on to win the RSE Enterprise Fellowship. His success and his Fellowship (which is currently being hosted by RCS) has provided us with an in-house role model. His development as a creative entrepreneur here at RCS is helping to build a culture of creative enterprise amongst our staff and students.
You can read the rest of the blogs in this series as they are published at: www.universities-scotland.ac.uk/blog