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Thursday, 25 June 2009

Drink, eat, meet your future boss

University societies can be useful to you in so many ways, for meeting new people, learning new drinking games and potentially meeting your graduate employer! David Langer, a successful entrepreneur has written an excellent article explaining the value of University societies and networking. His straight forward advice can be broken down into the following stages:
  1. Choose an industry (or if you are unsure 2 or 3 industries) you are interested in working in and join the related societies at your Uni.
  2. Attend the socials, networking and careers events arranged by the society.
    At the events talk to your peers about what they want to do, talk to people in the industry and the recruiters about your options and what they do and are looking for. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO TALK TO PEOPLE!
  3. Hopefully by this stage you will have decided which industry you prefer so speak to some of the people in the industry who you got along with about work experience and/or graduate opportunities. If you apply for a job and HR receive a recommendation email from someone in the company your chances will increase one hundred fold.
  4. Join the committee of the society in your 2nd or final year where you can demonstrate organisation and commitment qualities as well as working with potential employers to organise events, getting to know them and demonstrating how you would be an asset to their company.

For more information have a look at the article by clicking here.

Friday, 19 June 2009

A Drop In The Ocean

Last week Boris Johnson committed £3 million to help small businesses who have been refused a bank loan, but this a mere drop in the ocean considering the number of suitable applicants. Loans of up to £50,000 are being offered to businesses which have been unable to get necessary funding from the banks. The Federation of Small Businesses has pointed out that there are more than 700,000 small businesses in London and £3 million is simply not enough.

Boris Johnson says he appreciates the importance of small and medium businesses for the UK economy, image and employment and is doing everything he can to support them. This is clear from the interest rates on the loans of 6.8% if secured by property and 8.8% if not, the EU's lowest allowed rates. Nevertheless, the Mayor has been criticised for being slow to respond to a problem which has been around for some time now.

This fund will undoubtedly help many businesses across London; however it will not have the desired effect of reducing unemployment increases and bolstering the UK economy if more money is not made available as this pot runs out. Find out more from the
BBC article.

Monday, 1 June 2009

The Young Take The Lead

You will be pleased to know that some government funds are being put to good use (not just employing gardeners!!!) and £32 million is funding a new National Skills Academy for Enterprise, launching in September 2009.

The government has recognised that young people are the future of small business and considering that small businesses make up 90% of the UK economy, I would say it is money well spent! They have really put their money where their mouth is with Secondary Schools having received £17,000 per year for the past two years to increase enterprise education. These schemes should go a long way to help young people, who lack industry experience which is generally required in order to gain financial backing, from banks or investors.

Young people can be excellent entrepreneurs as they will have business ideas related to their experiences and will fully understand their target market, which will usually be their peers. Where they fall down is fully utilising business opportunities which they just don't recognise. Schemes such as the National Skills Academy for Enterprise, in addition to programmes in Schools and Colleges should provide young people with the business knowledge necessary to get started and recognise opportunities as they present themselves.

Entrepreneurship has been hailed 'the new rock 'n' roll' with more young people wanting to be the next Richard Branson than wanting to be famous. An interesting and positive cultural change? The ultimate goal is the same, to be rich, but more people, it seems, are willing to work for it in a way which will benefit the UK as a whole. This can only be a good thing.

Smarta have written an excellent in-depth report on this which I completely recommend taking a look at.