RIC team gain business advice from Karren Brady

Posted on 17th March 2014

Members of the Riverside Innovation Centre (RIC) and an entrepreneurship student were able to seek business advice from one of the country’s leading business women during a trip to Chester.

Kirsty Badrock; Karren Brady; Claire Blanchard and Jack Miller.
Kirsty Badrock; Karren Brady; Claire Blanchard and Jack Miller.

By invitation of Stephen Moseley MP, Kirsty Badrock and Claire Blanchard from the RIC attended a business networking lunch with Karren Brady CBE. They were joined by Jack Miller, second year Business Management and Entrepreneurship student from the University of Chester.

Karren Brady CBE appears as Sir Alan Sugar’s Aide in BBC 1’s The Apprentice. Prior to this she was known as the ‘first woman in football’ as Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club, selling the business for over £82 million in 2009. She is also the Government's Small Business Ambassador.

During a Q&A session, Jack took the opportunity to broach a subject which would resonate with many small business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs at the University. Jack asked: “By the time I finish University I will have substantial student debt. With no assets, I would have little chance of obtaining a bank loan. What do you think the best method of obtaining funding for a young business would be, and what are the Government doing to help start-ups?”

Karren strongly encouraged Jack to take advantage of the ‘Start Up Loans’ initiative, a government funded scheme to provide loans and mentors for entrepreneurs, and instilled the need to be both primed and prepared for such an endeavour, with a strong business plan and confidence moving forward.

The RIC, which is supported by ERDF, can help students and graduates who have a business idea through their ‘Venture3’ programme. Venture3 gives students the opportunity to ‘Create’ a business idea, to ‘Collaborate’ with professionals - to test and improve that idea - plus the skills, connections and confidence to ‘Accelerate’ it into reality. The RIC has developed a structured series of events and activities that expose students to partners in industry and academia to provide a solid framework through which students can be inspired and guided.

Claire Blanchard, Venture Programme Manager, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet Karren. She is an exceptional ambassador for women in business and provides immense motivation and inspiration to all who meet her.” 

For more information on the Venture3 programme, please visit: www.riversideinnovationcentre.co.uk.