|Supporting Your Enterprise|
Apart from coming along to the Leeds Uni Enterprise Society events and using this website, there are many ways in which the University and organisations around Leeds can help you to¬†develop your business idea and turn it¬†into a reality.¬† Help is available through networking opportunities, advice and financial grants, all designed to help you unlock your idea.¬† These opportunities are available all year round:
The Careers Centre:
The Careers Centre has dedicated business advisors that students can make¬†use of¬†to seek advice and help with particular matters.¬† Many of the staff¬†have owned their owned businesses in the past, and their assistance and contacts¬†have been invaluable to many business start ups around the University.
In addition to this the Careers Centre has its own business start up department, called Spark.¬† Spark offer a wide range of services.¬† Spark can assign you a business mentor, that can offer continual advice and assistance with your business.¬† The department also holds regular workshops for business start-ups, which take place every Tuesday, from 12.00pm to 2.00pm.¬† These workshops cover every aspect of starting up a business, including finance, how to carry out market research, advertising and legal issues.¬† The workshops are free and lunch and refreshments are provided.
Spark can also provide you with a business address within the students union, provided you meet the criteria, and holds the annual Business Plan Competition and Entrepreneurs Boot Camp.
The final assistance offered by Spark is the Proof of Concept fund.¬† If you can prove to Spark that you have a viable business idea, and fulfil their criteria, they will give you between ¬£250 and ¬£1000 to spend on your business.¬† This can be used on any area of the business, and is most commonly used on website costs, market research and legal advice.¬† Unlike the Business Plan Competition there is no competition for funds, you simply need a basic idea of where the business is going and how it's going to get there.
Careers Centre Homepage: http://careerweb.leeds.ac.uk/students/
Spark Homepage: http://careerweb.leeds.ac.uk/spark/index.asp
To be continued...