The University of Derby has been crowned ‘University of the Year’ at the Midlands Business Awards in recognition of its enterprise support programme which provides help to students and graduates to set up their own business.
“Be The Boss” is a scheme, run by the University’s Careers and Employment Service, aimed at students and graduates who want to become self-employed.
The programme offers a combination of action planning, one-to-one support provided by experienced business advisers and a series of workshops, and has helped more than 60 people develop a business idea into a working business.
Jo Wheldon, Head of Student Employment and Enterprise, said: “Supporting students and graduates to develop enterprising skills and ultimately start their own business, is a key part of our offer. I am so proud of the team and all the efforts that have gone into the Be The Boss project and to see this recognised through this award is testament to their hard work.”
Bruce McLeod, Enterprise Adviser at University of Derby, added: “Although the programme only commenced in October 2016, as of February 2018 we already have 145 students and graduates enrolled onto it. Of these, 89 have benefited from at least 12 hours’ worth of support and 63 new businesses have been created.
“The range of businesses started has been diverse and includes clothing, app development, videography, computer games design and publishing as well as a number of social enterprises. It has been great to see the level of engagement on the programme and the end result with so many participants creating their own business.
“One of the University of Derby’s key performance indicators, as with all universities, is the level of employability, whether this be on an employed or self-employed basis. Providing a way of equipping students with the necessary skills for self-employment is seen as critical and the Be The Boss programme aims to achieve this.”