Salford University opened its doors to Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham yesterday to celebrate the opening of its new business incubator, ‘Launch@SalfordUni’.
Launch@SalfordUni business incubator was opened at the Maxwell building of The University of Salford in front of a packed room of guests and prospective entrepreneurs.
Mr Burnham and incubation manager Justyna Turner, spoke about the importance of connecting university students with the world of business.
The Greater Manchester Mayor expressed his hope that the project might expand as far as secondary schools and encourage students from all over the UK to see Greater Manchester as an international hub of business and a place to build their lives.
He expressed his concern that forty percent of local students felt that they did not have a bright future and hopes that projects like the incubator will encourage ambition among students in the future.
Incubation manager Justyna Turner heads the project and opened their hub alongside Mr Burnham. She described her delight at launching such a innovative project at the University of Salford.
“I am so thrilled to have the support of colleges across the university but also the business growth hub. It’s just overwhelming in terms of the support and enthusiasm and everyone who was here today, the atmosphere in the room was great.
“We are trying to remove barriers for students to help them set up their own business and to create their own careers. We are keen to support them in any way possible, with skills training and funding, as well as with mentorship.
“We want to make sure they have the best chances of success and remove any risks in those early stages.”
“We have masterclasses all about starting your own business. We have planning, social media and blogging support, as well as the business growth hub coming in delivering day long sessions on strategy and sales/marketing which is crucial for them.
“We also give funding for students to really try and test their ideas, as well as giving students grants from our Santander University partnership as well as from the main university.”
Also present at the launch were a number of entrepreneurs keen to share their knowledge in business and discuss the positive affect that the incubation hub will have.
Candace James has already started her own business, Vegabox, with the help of the Incubation hub. She spoke to us about the impact that they have had.
The hub won’t just help people with an already solid business plan however. Piotr Kotlarek is a shining example of how the hub will help international students build a business almost from scratch. He told us why he needs the help of the hub.