Are you a student founder on campus? Or an aspiring student founder? Or perhaps, like me, you’ve watched films where the ambitious, wanting-to-change-the-world student arrives at university and their world-changing idea takes off. You can be that person!
In some sense, the business world is going through a well-needed change where sustainable business practices, Human Rights and environmental conditions are at the forefront of how business is done. If you are passionate about any of these and want to build your business with support from the university, here are some amazing opportunities to do so.
1. LSE Generate– The university’s Entrepreneurship hub which supports ‘students and alumni to build socially responsible businesses.’ Generate runs lots of programmes, funding competitions, business booster sessions and much more to help students. Also, the new GenDen space on campus has just launched and is a fabulous place to come along for some co-working, to practice a pitch deck, have tea whilst discussing your business idea with someone or just come to get inspired! If you’re looking for a space dedicated to entrepreneurship on campus, check out the GenDen in St Clement’s house.
2. Generate Accelerator Programme– A programme run by LSE Generate to help eligible founders on their way to achieving one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals through entrepreneurship. The programme consists of expert-led workshops, access to the co-working space and a termly grant. Applications close on the 15th February 2022 so be sure to apply if you are interested.
3. Societies– There are many societies to get involved in on campus if you would like to be inspired in your business journey or work with others. LSE Entrepreneurs offers weekly speaker talks, a founders’ club to connect founders at LSE and provide opportunities for growth, competitions and much more. The Women in Business society also runs skills workshops, networking events and much more with the aim of championing gender equality within the corporate and business spaces. For a more comprehensive list of societies which could provide you with a good network as a founder, see the LSESU website.
4. I would also recommend having a look at the LSE Careers site as there might be relevant opportunities (for example, internship or volunteering programmes) which could also provide you with an insight into working with a start-up or working closely with founders.
5. Student grants- There are several funding opportunities and grants (or competitions with funding as a prize) available to students. Some helpful websites to look at: The Prince’s Trust, Startups and an example of a student competition can be found here. Creator Fund, UnLtd, EY Foundation, Hatch Enterprise, Out the Box UK, Enterprise Nation all offer various events, programmes or opportunities to help young founders so doing some research here can definitely help with finding something useful.
6. Volunteer! The LSE Volunteer Centre has lots of opportunities of meaningful ways to get involved in the community, help others and develop your skills. Apart from the obvious benefits of being able to make some positive impact and also refine your own skills, volunteering and speaking to different types of people gives you amazing insight. It’s an opportunity to listen to different views and perspectives and learn more about other people’s lived experiences- all of which are important skills for any founder.
7. Founderships– LSE offers educational innovative grants to help provide some financial security to LSE entrepreneurs whilst building their businesses. The opportunity is open to eligible students and alumni- have a look here to find out more about the LSE founderships.
The current estimate is that the UK’s campus entrepreneurship scene could benefit from a lot of improvement. However, if you are a student interested in this area at LSE, there are definitely many opportunities to look out for or people to speak to who might be able to help. The aim is definitely to help all of those amazing, transformative ideas blossom into reality. So, how about tell someone about that idea you have, apply for an accelerator programme, start that grant application or visit the GenDen space on campus. If you have an idea and a passion to see it in reality, then it’s probably worth trying and you’re definitely the right person to.
LSE’s GenDen on campus!
Any founders or students passionate about students here? Feel free to leave a comment adding anything you have found useful in your business journey at LSE!
Images from LSE Generates’ Instagram via https://www.instagram.com/lsegenerate/?hl=en