This week is Global Entrepreneurship week – a national campaign to encourage people to start their own business and make sure they have the support to turn their ideas into reality. So for this week I will be posting a series of blogs all about enterprise and starting your own business. Today’s topic is competitions…
Taking part in competitions can make a valuable addition to any CV, but for a budding entrepreneur they can provide so much more. Competitions such as this one, from DAPS Global, provide an insight into an industry (perhaps an industry you had not considered working in before), as well as give the opportunity to network and make valuable contacts (which is vital in business).
They are also a great way to gain experience and develop key skills, such as formulating and pitching an idea, which are difficult to practice in other situations but pivotal to entrepreneurship. With this in mind, entering such competitions may act as an alternative to an internship, allowing you to gain more relevant experience. But crucially, such schemes allow you to get a taste of what it’s like to build a business (without the stress and financial obligations of doing it for real). This experience may highlight skills that you’d like to work on before starting your own business, perhaps be the confidence boost/ confirmation that you needed to go full steam ahead, or even make you decide that it’s not for you after all. In any such case, it will have been a useful experience.
Even for those who are not considering entrepreneurship, competitions will give you something different to put on your CV, make you stand out from the crowd and provide an excellent talking point at interviews when it comes to giving examples of how you have developed your skills. Through taking part, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate business skills, such as leadership, tenacity and commercial awareness, which will be looked upon favourably by employers.
Along with this, remember that attending events, such as Skills London, can provide a complementary route to building your skills portfolio and seeking advice. Getting involved with some Queen Mary based organisations, such as QM Enactus and QM Entrepreneurs, may provide further means to develop entrepreneurial skills and experience.
For more information and advice on starting your own business, take a look at our website, where you can find a number of useful resources as well as the details of some more external competitions. Finally, if you’d like further support or advice then don’t forget that you can book an enterprise appointment with one of our Careers Consultants.