Bootcamp success

University of Chester students joined students from West Cheshire College to take part in a military style training session to fuel their passion for enterprise, which was delivered intensively over the course of three evenings at the University’s Riverside Innovation Centre (RIC).

Students at an earlier bootcamp at the RIC.
Students at an earlier bootcamp at the RIC.

The University of Chester’s Business Boost Bootcamp is a concentrated programme for students and graduates who have a business idea, an interest in entrepreneurship and enterprise, or are considering self-employment in the future. Led and delivered by business experts and entrepreneurs, the Bootcamp develops business awareness, enterprise and employability skills through a challenging and engaging programme, at the RIC. Bootcamp recruits leave with a greater understanding of what should be considered when setting up a business as well as enhanced enterprise and employability skills.

As part of the training, the attendees assumed a role within a company and took part in a business simulation task to develop a new magazine. Each business pitched their idea to a Dragons’ Den style panel of business experts during the final evening and this was followed by a certificate presentation by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Tim Wheeler.

They also attended a seminar on Funding for Business,enabling them to identify funding opportunities for their business and assist in financial planning; took part in a ‘How to Pitch’ session delivered by Stan Reinholds from the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE;) and had the opportunity to network with successful entrepreneurs during a ‘Q&A Session,’ to uncover the personal motivation and skills, attributes and qualities required to make a successful entrepreneur.

The Business Boost Bootcamp is running throughout the year at the RIC, in addition to an intensive Business Planning Programme consisting of a Business Planning ‘One Day’ Workshop, delivered in partnership with Blue Orchid, an accredited provider of business support and consultancy, followed by a ‘Boiler Room’ session, which will enable participants to explore their business idea and plan in greater depth. To find out more about these sessions contact Kirsty Badrock, Innovation Enterprise Co-ordinator on 01244 512252.

Feedback from the students included:

  • “I have really enjoyed attending the Business Boost Bootcamp which was greatly programme and the participants, together with the speakers, have had been very inspirational.”
  • “An informative and enjoyable event that allowed a diverse group of people to meet and learn about Entrepreneurship.”
  • And: “I have especially enjoyed the interaction with real people, who have been there, and done that. The support mechanisms and specific advice opportunities received so far, has reduced some of the apprehension and uncertainty, whilst empowering me to crack on and develop business idea.”

Dr Simon Adderley, a University Enterprise Champion, said: “The Bootcamps are a fantastic opportunity for like-minded students and graduates to develop their business awareness skills, in a challenging, supportive and fun environment.” Paul Kirkbright, Director of the RIC, said: “We were delighted to welcome talented entrepreneurial students from across the University and West Cheshire College to take part in this programme.

We are proud to be working with successful entrepreneurs and business experts, all giving their time and expertise to help prepare students for their future ventures.” The Business Bootcamp initiative is part of the NW Higher Education Enterprise Champions Project and is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.