From education to employment

Students on task in business-boosting challenge

University of Chester students are helping to boost Cheshire businesses by finding solutions to tasks set by the enterprises’ founders, on aspects from products to advertising.

In the same month as Global Entrepreneurship Week (November), students from the University’s Business School are exploring innovative ways to support a range of companies.

The challenges have been set by business leaders at an event at Queen’s Park, the home of Chester Business School, and the students will pitch their ideas to the businesses and lecturers next month (December).

Considering community and social value, the students will share solutions in areas such as advertising opportunities, introducing new products, expanding into new markets and sustainable growth.  

The task is part of the Managing Sustainable Business Ventures module for third year Business Management students.

The businesses taking part are:

Lisa Conway, Deputy Head of the Department of Management at Chester Business School, said:

“We are delighted to be working with these fabulous enterprises that have provided our students with a broad array of challenges, enabling us to co-create learning on real issues affecting small or new organisations and social enterprises.”

She continued: “In the Department of Management, we very much value the input of the business community to ensure that learning in the classroom reflects the real world of business and entrepreneurship.”

The assignment is running as students learn more about social enterprise – how enterprises can provide innovative solutions to social challenges – in more depth, including recently being tasked with exploring the United Nation’s Strategic Development Goals (SDGs).

From good health and well-being to affordable and clean energy, the UN’s 17 SDGs are an urgent call for action by all countries, in a global partnership. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, spur economic growth and tackle climate change.

The students presented barriers and concerns for businesses, and solutions they can offer.

Business School academics are also researching varied aspects of social enterprise, have set up a Social Enterprise Research Group, and the group is working on a book about the value of social enterprise learning.

Lisa added: “For our lecturers, it is a crucial aim to share an understanding and recognition of the critical nature of social enterprise, that addresses societal and environmental issues. Students in the Business School study the ways in which social entrepreneurial endeavour generates jobs, decreases inequalities, and learn how to initiate responsible business. Through the exercise on the UN Strategic Development Goals, students demonstrated their research into the impact of social enterprise and the difference it makes to people and the planet.”

Other modules social enterprise is prominent within include the Essentials of Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Thought and Action, and a new postgraduate module, Innovation in Health and Social Care, from January.

The focus is at the fore with Global Entrepreneurship Week taking place this month (November). The week celebrates and aims to empower entrepreneurs in every country and community around the world, and resonates with the Business School’s innovative degrees that develop a ‘can do’ entrepreneurial mind-set and equip students to lead innovation.

Related Articles