Wednesday 30 April 2014
Johan Seland, President of QMUL’s Entrepreneurs Society (QME) tells us about the Entrepreneurs Society, its upcoming events and how getting involved in the society can improve your employability, ‘increasing your chance of becoming the next best thing!’
Our main aim as a society is to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship within Queen Mary. We want to create a framework for students that allow them to make their business idea into a reality. This means providing assistance from the initial idea phase to, for example, help students get in touch with potential investors. We work closely with the careers department and have a large database of contacts that we can utilise.
However, our aims are not confined to people that already have a business idea. We also hold events designed to promote creative thinking and other skills that are essential in today’s competitive labour market. In this way, Queen Mary Entrepreneurs is the ultimate society for employment.
For next year, another of our core aims is increasing the number of females joining the society and to promote start-ups for women. We intend to target this audience because women are underrepresented both in the society and in start-ups in the UK. Today, men are still twice as likely to start a business as women. We firmly believe that attracting a diverse cohort of people fosters creativity, tolerance and debate. This is essential for creating a better society and moving out of the economic slump.
We also focus on social enterprise in the area, helping local start-ups get in touch with students looking for valuable work experience.
Outside of the exam period, the society tends to meet every other week. We are lucky enough to have access to the amazing QUBE room in FB, so this is where we tend to hold our meetings. Our team shares the idea that flexibility with our own schedule is paramount to the success of the society. Thus, we also keep a lot of meetings over Skype and email.
Why you should join
QME is the ultimate society for anyone interested in making a difference. Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Steve Jobs all took a chance with their ideas, and changed the world. QME provides student with valuable experience, networking and guidance, increasing your chance of becoming the next big thing!
Our biggest event this year was our new website launch party. This was a piece in a wider re-branding of QME. We had guest speakers from LawDeck Limited and Neur who talked about their own experiences of starting up a business.
We hold an incredibly diverse range of events. This includes:
- Workshops for enterprise skills, making a website, getting funding etc.
- Talks with businesses and start-ups.
- Networking events across London.
Events for 2014/2015
In the next academic year we will hold an extensive set of events. We were granted the NACUE innovation fund, which gave us a substantial sum for our effort to promote entrepreneurship and will fund the following events.
- Enterprise Festival at the Spotlight Venue in East London to celebrate the value of enterprise. We are in the process of securing high-profile partnerships, such as Sandbox and WISEE (Women in Social and Environmental Enterprise). This will include inspiring talks from speakers from a variety of industries, information about local and national schemes that support the development of enterprises.
- A series of outreach and debate events on campus to increase awareness of the society and expand our membership base.
- Events based around the following key topics - the added-value of start-ups in the sluggish recovery, the social value of enterprises, the UK media perception of female entrepreneurs, the importance of non-bank credit to start a business, the role of immigrants in thriving UK enterprises, whether or not government policies on SMEs are appropriate, women in business and inspiring stories of successful entrepreneurs.
- Training sessions to grow the skills of the students in the society to enable them to become entrepreneurs themselves. This includes 3-hour weekly training sessions on:
(1) Developing the business idea
(2) Developing a brand
(3) Developing a business plan
(4) Financial arrangements
(5) Identifying business opportunities
(6) Presenting/pitching ideas
(7) Selling techniques
(8) Project management
- Some other projects which are under development include establishing a long-term partnership with the Institute of Directors, which will hopefully be in place at the beginning of September, getting several indie-game studios to come and talk about the process of starting up a gaming company, and the changing nature of publishing games, and getting several microbreweries to come and talk about