University fund set up to help student business ventures
September, UK: A fund to help support the next generation of entrepreneurs is being launched at Coventry University later this month.
The Coventry University Student Enterprise Fund is the brain-child of the University’s Chancellor, Sir John Egan, who wanted to do something to encourage entrepreneurship by giving financial support to fledgling student businesses when it is needed most.
Sir John, who is a keen supporter of UK innovation and enterprise, has personally committed financially to the fund and has asked a number of like-minded individuals to do the same in order to bridge the financial gap that has been caused through lack of suitable funding.
The fund will support the establishment of new growth businesses across all academic disciplines through investments normally in the range of £3k - £5k and as much as £30k for an outstanding proposition.
The development of a student-led enterprise fund is a unique proposition in the UK and the loans, which will be made available at competitive rates, will be expected to be paid back once the business is up and running so that the money can go back into the fund to support the next wave of new businesses.
Sir John Egan said:
"I am concerned that our UK Universities will fall behind internationally as a result of reductions in public sector funding and limited access to development funds from the EU. I am very keen to make this initiative a success, not just for the University, but for the region as a whole.”
Students at Coventry University are encouraged to create their own businesses while at University. The fund will be used to support businesses set up by students. It will also be mainly student-led operating with the help of an investment committee with assistance from the University’s Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship (IAE) who is managing this project.
Sir John added:
"There is already of wealth of practical support available at the University through the IAE and they will work closely with the new businesses to help them to succeed.”
Gideon Maas, the Director of the Institute of Applied Entrepreneurship, who will be formally launching the initiative with Sir John Egan on 21 October, is excited at this new development in business support. He said:
"Coventry University has a strong profile in enterprise and innovation and a strong reputation for practical business-facing education. We have been able to provide business development grants to some 30 students a year to help support the development of their business idea. This fund will support students taking their businesses to the next level of commercialisation and growth.”
Further information can be obtained from Louise Fidler who will be managing this project, email@example.com