Enterprising Students Take Up The Business Challenge
Students have been challenged to develop a business idea based on a random object as part of Enterprise Week. Lancaster University Volunteering Unit (LUVU) ran the event at the George Fox building to promote social enterprise where profits are ploughed back into the community.The taster day aimed to recruit more student volunteers for LUVU’s Voltage Project which promotes social enterprise among sixth form students.
Voltage volunteer Natalie Kennedy said: “Social Enterprise is very creative - from yellow moon pigs to Santa’s grotto. It is easier than you think to integrate a social aspect into a fun, innovative and profitable business idea.”
The students first scrutinised what the local area – the campus - needed or lacked and how they could create a business to overcome that need. Examples of business ideas that were developed were:
- A bicycle renting business to provide a low cost means of travel both to and from university from the city centre and around campus.
- A book-swapshop so that students can sell their books in a convenient and speedy way, with a money saving tips book to be created as well.
- A Lancaster University (LU) festival to promote and increase the mixing of all students from different colleges including the University of Cumbria.
Students also faced the Random Object Challenge to create business ideas from everything from a birthday sash to Tupperware and a Hawaiian necklace. Ideas included a babysitting service for parents when their friends have a fancy dress/birthday party to go to and a strap-on heater & cooler.
Student Jessica Norman worked with a team which used pom poms as one of the props for their business idea. She said: “Props really helped us to get into the mood when presenting our Christmas grotto business to the rest of the group.”
Other students were equally complimentary. Holly Scanlon said: “We found the day to be interesting and it helped our understanding of what social enterprise is and the positive effects it can have on society.”
Heather Yates, the Voltage Project Co-ordinator, said: “All the business ideas that university students came up with show that it isn’t hard to make a real difference in overcoming the needs and problems they’ve identified and that people can make a positive impact on their local community.”