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University launches a specialist centre for entrepreneurship and education

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 14, 2013

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Next week – as part of a host of events taking place during Plymouth Enterprise Week – Plymouth University launches a major new initiative designed to give global business leaders of the future the chance to hone their entrepreneurial talent and enthusiasm.

As part of its continued mission to be the enterprise university, Plymouth is launching the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre in the heart of the city's business community, a specialist centre for entrepreneurship and education.

The centre is being officially opened on Wednesday, November 20, as part of a packed calendar of events taking place for Plymouth Enterprise Week – the locally organised element of Global Entepreneurship Week, which runs from November 18-24.

The new Futures Entrepreneurship Centre will provide a creative and social space in which entrepreneurship and social enterprise can flourish, encouraging the creation, development and growth of sustainable businesses across the South West.

The centre is the latest project by Plymouth University to actively promote enterprise among staff and students, an approach which has seen it nominated for numerous accolades in recent years, including becoming the first university to be awarded a Social Enterprise Mark. This prestigious accolade is being presented to the university next week as part of Plymouth Enterprise Week when the Social Enterprise Mark company visits Plymouth to officially make the award.

A number of other events are taking place as part of Plymouth Enterprise Week including a science, technology and engineering placement and graduate recruitment fair on November 20 at Plymouth University, a Festival of Physics organised by the South West committee of the Institute of Physics running in the Roland Levinsky building from November 16, and the Plymouth Business School hosting its annual Schools Business Challenge on November 18 at Plymouth University.

As part of Plymouth Enterprise Week and the Social Enterprise Festival also taking place next week, former star of The Apprentice, Melody Hossaini, is visiting City College to talk to students and staff on November 18 about her successful social enterprise founded to encourage student enterprise, and is also running some of her InspirEngage bootcamps.

There is a start-up business showcase in the university's Formation Zone on November 18, and many more events taking place throughout the week at Plymouth University and across the city.

Find out more by visiting www.plymouthenterpriseweek.co.uk.

The new Futures Entrepreneurship Centre opens on November 20 at its base in Sutton Harbour. It will act as a focal point for entrepreneurial education and research, providing a range of academic courses, support, mentoring and network opportunities.

Professor Gideon Maas, director of the new Futures Entrepreneurship Centre, said: "Plymouth has a genuine commitment to invest time and effort in entrepreneurship and there are not many universities which can say that. By embedding entrepreneurship across the university and community, we can give people the knowledge and experience to accompany their ideas and enthusiasm.

"There are a lot of great existing initiatives, and we hope the creation of Futures will inspire innovation and channel the energy of the business leaders of the future."

The centre will work alongside the university's existing enterprise initiatives – including the three innovation centres in Cornwall and the Growth Acceleration and Investment Network (GAIN) – while linking with partner schools and colleges across the region, and international partners such as the US-based Babson Global Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education.

The new centre is also being supported by one of the country's most successful entrepreneurs, Dominic List, who has established a number of successful companies since completing a Design and Technology Business degree at Plymouth in 1997.

Students based at Futures will be able to apply for a Dominic List Enterprise Fund, with grants to help them on to the first rung of the business ladder.

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