Students to run their own start-ups with innovative new Northumbria University business course

Northumbria University in Newcastle has just become one of the UK’s first universities to launch a new and radical programme which sees students spending 2 years first establishing and then running their own business.

The Entrepreneurial Business Management programme, which is being offered by the Newcastle Business School within the university will see students spending their first year studying on campus during which time they will develop an understanding of the many core business disciplines whilst also honing their business plans and ideas.

They then move to the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead where they spend the next two years running businesses in teams. The scheme provides an experiential learning environment in which to embed their learning and enables them to graduate with unique knowledge, skills and behaviours.

The programme, based on a philosophy developed by Finland’s Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, aims to equip students with the skills, confidence, contacts, experience and reflective ability required to establish and develop a successful business.

Students will work as part of a team to run their business and will be coached, rather than lectured, by their tutors during the two years of establishing and running a business. Links with business and industry will provide additional support.

Yorkshire Bank will offer free business banking facilities, mentoring and sectorial advice. Watson Burton LLP law firm will provide legal advice and mentoring support, as well as access to space in its Newcastle, Leeds and London offices for meetings. The North East Chamber of Commerce will offer free membership to the students while they are running their business.

Luke Monterosso, 18, is currently studying the Entrepreneurial Business Management programme. Luke, originally from the West Midlands, explained why he competed for a place on this course: “I’ve always wanted to start-up my own business but have always wanted a little experience beforehand  so the Entrepreneurial Business Management course at Northumbria University appealed to me.  It provides a ‘fast-track’ method of gaining lots of practical knowledge and experience in the business world by making mistakes, reflecting and learning from real life business practice.”

Fellow student George Cocks, 18, from Whalley, added: “The course is definitely a new and revolutionary way of learning. By being allowed scope and relatively free reign to take our business in any direction we choose, our team are in a unique position where we shape our own learning, having total control over finance, marketing, and advertising. By learning through practical application of theory I am gaining a head-start in business and entrepreneurship.”

Dr Jane Turner, Associate Dean for Business and Engagement in Newcastle Business School, explained: “Northumbria University has an excellent reputation for creating experiential learning opportunities. We know that work-based learning produces distinctive, differentiated graduates who truly stand out from the crowd. We anticipate that students graduating from the programme will want to stay in the North East and run their own businesses, or enter organisations as real intrapreneurs who make a difference.”

Simon Lenney, Head of Business & Private Banking (North East) at Yorkshire Bank, added: “We are delighted to be partnering Newcastle Business School’s Entrepreneurial Business Management programme as it allows us to help foster grass roots entrepreneurs into the  North East with the support of a dynamic university Business School.”

Gillian Hall, Senior Partner from Watson Burton LLP, said: “We are delighted to support Northumbria University in launching this pioneering programme. The skills obtained by students will not only have long-term economic benefits for the North East, but also for the wider economy once students complete the course.

“As a commercial law firm we understand entrepreneurs and what drives them. We are very much looking forward to helping this next generation of entrepreneurs start their business careers.”

For further information about the Entrepreneurial Business Management degree, sign up to visit Northumbria University’s Open Day on Saturday 30 November at www.northumbria.ac.uk/openday