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Student entrepreneurs are inspired at SUMS

Enterprise is embedded in the curriculum at Sheffield University Management School, so it’s no wonder that start-ups keep emerging from our module in New Venture Creation.

Overseen by Dr Dermot Breslin, the module (MGT380) is inspiring its students to set up new companies. It provides students with the opportunity to draw on knowledge learned throughout their degree as they develop a business idea, from inception to pre-start-up. Building on areas including strategy, finance and organisational behaviour, business ideas can include for-profit manufacturing and service organisations, based in the UK or overseas and social enterprises.

Recent successful start-ups include Go Fresh Café, started by Danielle Howarth. Danielle used the module to create the business, which started in Tickhill, near Doncaster, over the summer of 2014. You can see updates from Go Fresh Café on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Go-Fresh-Cafe/709354235799158

Another MGT380 start-up is blossoming in the hands of James Buckley. James’s care company, which you can find more information about at www.friends2g.co.uk, is going from strength to strength. Friends Together offers support and guidance to people with learning difficulties, people on the autistic spectrum and those with difficult epilepsy.

James said: “We’re not a charity: we’re a business providing services that we believe add value to people’s lives. We respect the people who use our services enough to call them customers. We respect their autonomy and we’re grateful they chose us; our aim is to live up to their confidence with our commitment.

“Growing up with my sister Katie, who has profound learning difficulties and epilepsy, I’ve seen and taken part in the struggles that go with that. Back in 2008, I began working for a domiciliary care agency, and took on the role of my sister Katie’s Personal Assistant. I supported her in managing her budget and assisted her in activities, but the choices and ideas were Katie’s.

“That’s where my inspiration for what I do at Friends Together comes from: I saw what happened for my sister when she became a customer.  I saw first-hand how control of her own personal budget gave Katie a sense of her own life. As she settled into the driving seat, Katie began to achieve things we’d been told she’d never be able to do.”

We’re always delighted to hear about our students’ entrepreneurial endeavours, including those of Ollie Chappell and The Bear Socks Company (http://thebearsockscompany.com), which provides high quality sock garments aimed at reducing the impact of global warming, as well as contributing to charity supporting bear welfare.

So many of the organisations our students start-up are underpinned by the School’s mission and vision – socially responsible, ethical and sustainable.

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