The qEnterprise team recently held our second East London Social Hack at Stour Space, in Hackney Wick. It was a roaring success, and we’re keen to tell you why and to encourage you to get involved next time. To start with, check out the video below.
What is it!?
The East London Social Hack is an intensive weekend bootcamp that gives 60 Queen Mary students and alumni the chance to create social enterprises – commercial businesses that exist primarily to address social problems, not make profit – in just 48 hours!
Because it shows what a fantastic vehicle (social) entrepreneurship can be for learning a huge array of skills, personal development and positive social change. It also demonstrates the phenomenal amount students can achieve in a short space of time given the right environment.
We’re especially pleased to use the East London Social Hack as a platform to engage with social issues local to East London. The weekend focused particularly on four broad categories: Health, Housing, Community Cohesion and Environment. Stour Space was the ideal space for this: it’s a thriving hub not only for local social enterprises, but also artists, activists and community members fighting for a fairer society. We can’t thank them enough for hosting us.
We’re looking for passionate student volunteers on 13th January to join Enterprise Nation at the most exciting start-up show of the New Year at QMUL.
StartUp 2018 is the UK’s biggest start up show of the New Year for over 2,000 keen entrepreneurs. At this one day event, they will hear from inspiring entrepreneurs and experts who will help the attendees start or grow their own business.
What will I be doing on the day?
You’ll be part of a 50 strong squad of volunteers who will get paid to help direct guests as well as meet and great inspirational speakers. You’ll also help stage manage the logistics of our workshops and main stages to make sure the presenters have everything they need.
What do I need to apply?
In order to apply, you must be able to meet the following criteria:
- Be aged 18 or over
- Be available to work for the event day on Saturday 13th January between 8.00am and 4.00pm
- Be personable, outgoing and friendly
On January 13th 2018, Queen Mary University of London will be welcoming Enterprise Nation to our campus for StartUp 2018, the UK’s biggest start-up show of the year. There will be over 2,000 attendees arriving on our Mile End Campus for a full day of talks, workshops and expert sessions.
A key feature of the event will be our Makers Market, featuring our best student entrepreneurs and designers. We’re looking for some of the finest budding businesses at QMUL to book a stall and showcase their products and services to our attendees.
Why showcase at StartUp 2018?
- Earn money and showcase your product or service to an audience of over 2,000
- Get feedback on your offer from entrepreneurs and customers
- Get access to a FREE stall and build trading experience
- Build networks with attendees and make new friends
Who is it for?
- Current QMUL student or recent graduate (two years or less)
- Businesses at all stages of growth, including pre-revenue enterprises (those not yet trading).
- Businesses able to commit to hosting a stand on Jan 13th and able to provide their own marketing materials/products
On Friday 12th November, qEnterprise had the privilege of welcoming over 60 aspiring entrepreneurs from QMUL and London Mentropolitan University for our 3DS Bootcamp. It was an exciting, intense and fast-paced weekend of entrepreneurial thinking where students were tasked with forming their own teams and building a business in JUST 3 DAYS.
We had lots of fun. Here’s our vlog of the weekend!
If you have any questions regarding 3DS or would like to discuss growing your business with our support, get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to hear more from the qEnterprise team.
The number of university leavers turning away from the larger, more traditional graduate employers in favour of working for a startup or SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) has noticeably increased over the past few years. Over 50% of recent graduates now say that they would rather work at a smaller company and it’s easy to see why. Working for an SME presents first jobbers with a unique opportunity to take on high levels of a responsibility from the word go, to really have an impact on the business’s growth and development, and to develop a wide skills set.
So, if you’re thinking of kick-starting your career at an SME, you’re probably keen to find out how the hiring process differs to a corporate’s. In short, quite a bit. Although it’s important to remember that all startups and SMEs vary too, we’ve outlined the 4 main points that are relevant to the majority of smaller companies.
Speed vs. Formality
At a larger company, it isn’t unusual for the recruitment process to start a year in advance of the start date. They’ll have strict guidelines in place and will also receive a greater amount of applications.
Startups and SMEs simply don’t have that sort of time at their disposal so they tend to start their recruitment drive just 1-2 months before the expected start date of their new employee. This means that it’s perfectly reasonable (and actually encouraged) to start looking for vacancies after your finals or even after graduation, depending on when you’d like to start your new job. You can also expect to hear the outcome of your application a lot sooner!
Relaxed vs. Structured
At a corporate the hiring process will be run by a fully equipped HR team, and there’ll usually be several rounds of tests, interviews and/or assessment centres that successful candidates will be invited to attend.
Austin Tran is the marketing assistant at a London based digital startup, called ClickMechanic, which enable users to quickly and easily get their car repaired, since their founding in 2012.
Here, Austin busts some common myths around working for a startup…
- You need to have a degree in Computer Science
It’s true that many startups are tech focused, and there is certainly a shortage of developers (though not just in the startup world). However, scaling a business requires not just building a great product, but actually selling it. There a multitude of roles available in startups where you will pick up new skills along the way.
- You will just pour coffee
Working in a startup can be intense, the team is relying on you to perform in order to grow the business. This means that you’ll have much more responsibility at a startup than in a corporate environment. You’ll be asked to job straight in from day one, often to do things that you don’t know how to. Whilst this responsibility can seem daunting at first, this is often one of the main reasons given for high job satisfaction in startups.
- Work-life balance
Since you and your team will be trying to achieve great things with few resources in a fraction of the time it should take, you should be prepared to graft. Prioritisation is key to managing your workload, but the occasional late night or day at the weekend to finish a project is inevitable. The saving grace is that working hours tend to be more flexible, which can suit those who prefer to work late than face early mornings!
- Your job title is your destiny
When you’re hired by a startup, you’ll be given a job title; don’t think this is all you’ll do. You’ll be tasked with whatever needs doing rather than what fits under your role. This means one day crawling through spreadsheets and another out delivering flyers! The variety of work in a startup can save you from the boredom that leaves you banging your head against your desk at the end of the day.
- You get Google style perks
The startup world is associated for great benefits, with offices branded as campuses, and free massages. These tend to be the exception rather than the rule. Most startups aren’t flush with cash, and so your perks are more likely to be free beer in the office on a Friday evening than free health insurance and gym membership.
Working in a startup certainly isn’t for everyone, you need to be prepared to be taken outside of your comfort zone, work hard and learn fast. You’ll end up working harder for less pay than some of your friends in corporate jobs, but your work will be varied, you’ll learn a whole host of new skills and get to share in the achievements of your company. It can be an incredibly rewarding career choice, especially early on in your career.
Vana and Jessica Anne with students
Last week our Enterprise team held a successful ‘Start Up Stand Up’ event, which focused on female entrepreneurs. It was an informal networking event where local entrepreneurs talked about their experiences setting up their own companies and answered questions from students looking to develop their own ideas.
The evening celebrated some of the amazing female talent that London has to offer, and our 2 guest speakers were:
Vana Koutsomitis: Apprentice Series 11 finalist, and founder of DatePlay: www.dateplay.com
Jessica Anne: Founder of Jessica Anne Styling: www.jastyling.com/jessicaannestylist
Both of our speakers encouraged women in entrepreneurship to dream big. Vana and Jessica’s top tips were:
- Search for resources & find accelerator programmes when setting up a start-up
Our programme at QMUL, InQUBEate, has just kicked off and over the next 8 weeks we will support the development of 15 businesses. Each week we will look at a different topic, for example, customer discovery, market research and pitching. The businesses on this cohort range from a robotic device that will aid the rehabilitation of stroke patients, a social enterprise app that addresses food wastage in restaurants, an LGBT fashion brand, an app that links schools with supply teachers and a safety indicator device for cycling.
You can next apply for this programme by e-mailing email@example.com with an outline of your business idea by 14th December at noon. You can also get feedback on your idea by booking an enterprise appointment on 020 7882 8533.