Ferzona's Intro: 

This post is a bit different than the previous ones you are used to. I have been able to rally round a few specific Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) alumni students to jointly write this article. WHY? The answer is this: A few years back I started out my entrepreneurship journey on my own, lonely and confused. A huge boost to my business and entrepreneurial confidence came from ARU, in the form of the Start-Up Lab and the Big Pitch Competition. Fast forward a few months down the line, THE STARTUP LAB GOT SHUTDOWN. What?! I expressed how extremely beneficial this space was to me and almost cried asking for this beautiful space to get re-opened again, but my singular opinion needed some extra weight for anything significant to happen. [Enters VP Business & Law]. Luckily for all of us, the current VP Business and Law agrees such a space is necessary and he is running a campaign to set up ARU's first Incubation Centre. Impressive! [Follow the story here - there is a questionnaire you can fill]

Everyone you're gonna read from below are people I have personally met while using the start-up lab or are current student entrepreneurs affiliated with ARU is some way. We are here sharing our story and providing insight on the benefits the start-up lab had on our various businesses to support and strengthen the VP's campaign. We wanna make sure the campaign succeeds. It is gonna be an interview style post with six questions answered by six different people. (OMG! The diversity...I love it already!) Hang On, I wanna say a massive thank you to everyone that took their time sharing their experience to make this article a success: THANK YOU!

To the audience, Read on. And hey, you might just learn a tip or two about starting that business you've always wanted to start.


Q1: In your own words, who is a Student Entrepreneur?

Chris Mason: Simply put, a student entrepreneur is a student who is an entrepreneur. Students come in various forms and entrepreneurship can mean many things. But in this context, "student" refers to University students and "Entrepreneur" means business owner. 

Q2: What role do you think a student entrepreneur plays as motivation to their peers?

Chris Pagan: Everybody loves a bit of proof in the face of uncertainty. Especially when 25% of current undergrads in the UK are exploring entrepreneurship. A successful SE (Student Entrepreneur) not only provides inspiration but also clear and visceral proof that anybody can do it. All it takes is the first step in confidence. 

Q3: How involved do you think universities should be in shaping the entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow?

Milena Beyene: The ARU StartUp Lab helped me broaden my view on life in general; showed me who I could become and the opportunities that could be made available to me if I chose the path of entrepreneurship. If this is not education, I don't know what is. And honestly, I feel that it should be compulsory for universities to engage in more programs that aim to broaden the horizon of individuals, to help set them up for their future.

Q4: What is the function of an Incubation centre? (E.g. Start-up Lab)

Hermes Contreras: For me, it was the place where everything started for my business. I found support, mentoring, access to investors, and many more things. It was the foundation of my business and the engine of my entrepreneurial career. Thanks to the StartUp Lab, I personally had the satisfaction of seeing an idea (my idea)  become something real. And up till today, I still work within the business I had created through the Lab.

Q5: Comment on the relationship between a start up business and Incubation Centres. (E.g. Start-up Lab)

Hammer & Tong: The relationship should be about nurturing good ideas. Incubation centres should have professionals with the right foresight to surround these ideas with the best possible chance of success whether it be finance or corporate development.

Q6: How do you think an incubation centre will help current ARU students?

Everyone: In the current economic climate (COVID) it could be difficult to gain employment in a corporate business but if you have a good idea, with the help of an incubation centre it will be easier to start your own business;

It could save you a whole lot of startup business costs - from video editing software, to graphics design, to access to a decent camera; the incubation centre could have all of these and more in-house.

Incubation centres teaches and promotes innovation. And you best believe it, Innovation is an important employability skill today.

Prestige - In 2014, ARU was awarded "Entrepreneurial University of the year", with an Incubation centre, ARU can reclaim that title again.

Final Notes

Thanks to the VP's campaign, the importance of entrepreneurship is pushed through Anglia Ruskin University again. We really hope he succeeds in this campaign! If you want to contact any of the ARU Alumni students that contributed to today's article. Click here!

To join the VP's campaign, please don't forget about the questionnaire here. He will love to hear from you and share your stories. 


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