St Andrews Enterprise Week is set to return following a successful inaugural launch last year. Due to take place from Monday 5 October through Sunday 11 October, the week promises a series of events designed to inspire entrepreneurial spirit and to provide the people of St Andrews and the surrounding area exposure to influential people. All will be free of charge and held in state of the art venues in the centre of town.
The core event categories include speakers, networking and workshops, and will be run in association with university partners, multinational organisations and successful entrepreneurs from across Britain. With two or more events scheduled on each day, there are plenty of opportunities to acquire valuable careers guidance and vocational skills.
Enterprise Week will host Kevin Harvie at their launch event on the Monday. Founder of Hectare’s Sweet Potato Crisps and one of Scotland’s most renowned young entrepreneurs, he will discuss how he turned his idea into an established brand and the decisions he made along the way. The Saint sat down with Jessica Richards, the director of the initiative, to find out what else the week has in store.
Unlike events organised by societies, all will be free of charge and open to people of any degree or discipline. Ms Richards explained, “we are not only marketing to the student body, but anyone interested in enterprise and taking an active interest in their career choices. Although it is more difficult to promote the week to those outside of the University, we would like to emphasise that all of our events are open to the general public as well.”
When asked which event is most unique to Enterprise Week, Ms Richards said “probably Society Smash,” which is being held on Tuesday 6 October. She explained how “it is an event that I wish took place during my first year. We have invited a variety of student organisations and societies particularly concerned with the career prospects of their members to talk, answer questions and explain how one can join”.
Having described how difficult it is to differentiate the fun societies from the serious ones, she spoke with great enthusiasm about how each participating group could be used to aid one’s vocational development. Among those attending are Playfair Project, Enactus and TEDx.
However, Ms Richards made it clear that the Headline Keynote is the one not to miss. Taking place in the Buchanan Building at 7PM on Wednesday 7 October, Enterprise Week is set to host an array of guest speakers from across the country, including some of the nation’s leading young entrepreneurs.
Ms Richards spoke about her excitement that the committee had secured Callum Lesley, founder of the Wooju smart phone application. “Despite only being 23 years old, he has earned a law degree, founded three businesses and designed an app used by thousands of people across over fifty countries.” Mr Lesley is due to travel from his Glasgow office to talk about the trials and tribulations of establishing a successful enterprise and will answer any questions from the audience at the end of the evening.
Another speaker set to attend the Keynote is Francesco Facca of Niume, a successful blogging platform. Ms Richards explained, “Mr Facca will be travelling to St Andrews from London to discuss the five biggest mistakes he made, rather than what he has accomplished.” She voiced, “it is quite refreshing to hear someone willing to emphasise what they did wrong despite achieving plenty of success.” Mr Facca will also be running a workshop the following day that will take attendees from “zero to business plan” in only two hours. “It should be a fun, but insightful experience,” according to Ms Richards.
The Headline Keynote will also host Chris Marr, a St Andrews graduate turned marketing guru, Christopher McCann, founder of the snap40 medical device now used by the NHS, and one other to be confirmed in the week leading up to the event.
Ms Richards moved on to list a few more events to look out for over the course of the week. “EY are hosting a mock assessment centre on the Friday, which is a great opportunity for those applying for jobs and internships. We aim to host something for everyone during Enterprise Week, but attracting the big names is always a huge plus given our remote location.”
PwC will also be in town to host a consulting case study, Annika and Amy will be travelling from Switzerland to discuss the InitMate initiative and there will be a postgraduate ‘Research to Business’ workshop to name a few mentioned by Ms Richards.
The interview finished on a final note – “we hope that people take some time out of their week to take advantage of the opportunities on offer. The committee succeeded in creating a great line up and would love to see people benefit from it”.
Find out more about St Andrews Enterprise Week at www.standrewsenterpriseweek.com