Guest blog written by Mariam Hussein, MEC Enterprise Assistant
The Masood Entrepreneurship Centre (MEC) is the main hub of activity for enterprise and entrepreneurship at The University of Manchester. The Centre is based in the Alliance Manchester Business School but is available to all students across the University. We focus on ensuring everyone has the opportunity to succeed with their entrepreneurship ambitions.
Starting a business and self-employment can be very daunting, but there is no need to worry, there is plenty that you can get involved with to make your idea a reality. Here are some ways the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre can help you develop and launch your ideas:
- Consider our She’s the Business programme
This year we will be launching our She’s the Business Programme, which looks to support female entrepreneurs gain the confidence and skills to develop their business idea and apply for funding. Our main launch event is on the 7th April 2022, with details to come out on our socials soon. We’ll be hosting a day of inspirational panels and workshops to tap into your skills. Afterwards, we will be running 4 follow-up workshops to help you go from idea to solid plan, with the opportunity to secure funds to launch it.
2. Kickstart your idea with up to £2,000
For those looking to test and validate their ideas, we recommend you look at the Kickstarter Award, where you can apply for up to £2,000 to test your entrepreneurial ideas in the market. Applications are open on a monthly rolling basis, with the closing date on the last Friday of every month. Alongside this, we offer a range of support and advice to help you decide on how to best use this funding.
3. Developing a business plan and budget
You may be at a stage where you have the funding, the ideas and a team, but no idea where to start with launching and sustaining your business. MEC provides a wide range of activities and programmes to support this. An upcoming event is our MEC Momentum Finance Series, which will talk through the ins and outs of financing and budgeting for your business. Another regular programme is our BIG Programme, which has 7 workshops covering the elements of building a business and launching it. To check out these key resources, keep updated with our events page.
4. Develop your skills
There are not specific skills that are essential to the sector, but there is a focus on confidence, creativity, and flexibility. You need to develop an awareness of important skills and how they can help you achieve your goals. Entrepreneurial skills are all transferable and that’s a key aspect of the grad job market today. You can learn how to tap into these skills through the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre’s current events.
5. Access our Resource Centre and drop-ins
If you’re looking to learn the specifics of your entrepreneurial journey, you should refer to our Resource Centre, which has comprehensive guides, FAQs and articles on all things business. Our Centre covers topics such as Tax and National Insurance, business law, market research, marketing, business planning, and more! Once you’ve gotten to grips with the basics of your entrepreneurial journey, we highly recommend you schedule a drop-in appointment with us over email so we can discuss specialised support, networks, and any additional advice we can give.
Here at the Careers Service, we support you and your future, whatever that pathway may be. The team have knowledge in a range of sectors and have helped support a wide variety of individuals, including aspiring entrepreneurs! Working closely with the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre, we offer support for any journey you may take. Visit our enterprise website page or book an appointment on CareerConnect for more advice.