Over the summer period the Centre team have been busy planning for the new academic year and the office has been a hive of activity. So that I can write the event calendar, the beginning of the summer period starts with time to reflect. Not just on the last academic year but on how far extra-curricular enterprise education has come at Cardiff Met since I started nine years ago.
For those of you that have been taught by me or attended any of my workshops, you will know that I am a big fan of reflection. It provides an opportunity to evaluate where you're at, where you've come from and what the next steps should be. I like to think that my love for reflection (and enterprise education) is what has developed and shaped the extra-curricular enterprise provision at Cardiff Met over the years.
Since 2006 extra-curricular enterprise activities have evolved from; setting up a student society as the main catalyst for all delivery, with one student (me) delivering all events and being supported by an academic member of staff. To establishing the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship in January 2013 with four members of staff enabling expansion of provision, to now, in September 2015, when the Centre is tinkering on the edge of moving into a brand new incubator, which will allow student and graduate businesses to work out of the Centre on their start-ups (more news will be released about this shortly I promise)!
There have been some major milestones along the way such as; winning Cardiff Met's Team of the Year, developing a new tracking systems so that the Centre can identify the students and graduates engaging in events and track their future career paths, Winning a Guardian Award for excellence in Enterprise Education and establishing good relationships with the wider business community in Cardiff to bring more opportunities to student and graduates at Cardiff Met, such as the Cardiff Markets which are organised by CraftFolk and funded by the Centre.
The opening of the new incubator later this term will see another exciting new chapter for the Centre. From reflecting on previous years and looking at new directions for the Centre to accompany this new chapter, there are going to be some exciting new developments this year;
The core of the Centre's ethos will always be 'enterprise and employability' the two are, in my view, intertwined and even if you don't want to start a business, the activities provided by the Centre will help you develop your skills and entrepreneurial characteristics which graduate employers are looking for.
The Centre's programmes are going to follow a more structured layout, allowing you to follow a clear path in your skills development or start-up journey. So, from September there will be a new look Centre brochure, which will clearly map out this journey, our events along this journey and provide informal case studies from other student journeys from recent years.
Each month this academic year will be themed to elements of a business plan and all of the Centre's events will follow the month's theme. For example, October will be 'you, your skills and how to develop them 'month and March 2016 will be 'Finance' month (we'll make it fun honestly). Each month you will learn more about each theme, which can either be applied to your business idea or develop your skills.
This structured journey will be supported by the Centre's first 'workbook'. The workbook sections follow the monthly themes and attending the Centre events and activities each month will help you complete the workbook. The beauty of the workbook is that on completion it can be simply complied into a business plan. The aim is, if you attend the Centre events and complete the corresponding parts of the workbook you will not only have developed some of the skills you will need to start a business but you will have all the elements of a working business plan. Simple!
So I hope you like the sound of the new plans for the Centre and that you have a crack at completing the new workbook and attend the Centre's events. It would be great if this time next year we have some of you in the new Incubator who have been on this new Journey with the Centre.