Creative Entrepreneur – Opportunities for students and SMEs

Professor Kurt Allman and Alex Fenton opening Creative Entrepreneur 2014
Professor Kurt Allman and Alex Fenton opening Creative Entrepreneur 2014

Achieving the accolade of Business School of the Year at the Times Higher Education Awards and running their first Creative Entrepreneur event at MediaCityUK concluded a tremendously successful 2014 for Salford Business School.

The University of Salford’s mission to ‘transform lives, stimulate discovery and realise potential’ is reflected in Salford Business School’s commitment to support economic regeneration – regionally, nationally and internationally. Recognising the critical role small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play in innovation, advancement and sustainable development worldwide, Salford Business School declared 2014 the ‘Year of the SME’. Throughout the year, Salford Business School staff have focused their efforts on delivering expert advice, addressing skills gaps and facilitating access to finance, networks and resource opportunities for SMEs.

Research, innovation and skills gaps can cause real issues for SMEs. Having access to bright, enthusiastic talent can really make the difference. At Salford Business School, there is a very strong commitment to employability skills and an emphasis on activity based learning with real world application. Internships and placements are a proven way to inject new ideas and experience into a business – both the student and business benefit hugely. Creative Entrepreneur – Next Generation 2014 represented a culmination and celebration of this amazing year and the creative ability and ingenuity of SMEs locally and internationally.

Creative Entrepreneur 2014

On 3rd December Salford Business School welcomed over 35 guest speakers to the University’s state-of-the-art MediaCityUK campus to deliver an exciting programme of master-classes, panel sessions, installations and performances to inspire, inform and entertain over 300 attendees – the next generation of talent. Several of our courses and modules were present, creating great opportunity for our students. The short video below gives an overview of the event.
Creative Entrepreneur 2014 Video

What did people think?

Feedback from Creative Entrepreneur 2014
Feedback from Creative Entrepreneur 2014

The event was incredibly well received by over 300 staff, students, expert speakers and local companies setting a new standard for events and connecting with the student and business community.

“The Creative Entrepreneur Event was mind blowing”
Peace Oshiafi | MSc Information Systems Management

“I thoroughly enjoyed The Creative Entrepreneur. Thank you to you and everyone involved for organising such a successful and enjoyable event.”
Sue Lister (local SME)

Myself and my team enjoyed the event, it was laid back and fun and good to gain experience in promoting ideas. We met a few investors who were potentially interested in our innovative idea, who gave us some feedback to help us develop it further.”
Nadia (3rd year Business IT student)

It was a packed programme with a live play, students demos, experts panels, business pitches… our students loved it! One of the best events we’ve had and looking forward to the 2015 event
Dr. Marie Griffiths

What happened at the event?

An opening keynote address delivered by Dom Burch, Senior Director for Marketing Innovation and New Revenue at Asda, highlighted the importance of creative thinking and social media strategy for entrepreneurs in the digitally-connected economy. Dom’s incredibly insightful talk perfectly set the scene for the full day of inspirational activity to follow. A broad spectrum of speakers from SMEs to larger organisations discussed, debated and presented a vast array of opportunities available to the next generation of talent.

Dom Burch Creative Entrepreneur 2014 Video

Drop-in sessions allowed attendees to explore the opportunities of green-screen technology and the concept of crowdsourcing and Kickstarter campaigns, while workshops dealt with online security and all the legal frameworks one would need to succeed.

Digital marketing, online retail, digital photography,  cyber security and the future of digital provided hot topics for panel discussions, with the role and challenges facing women entrepreneurs in the creative industries generating a particularly lively and motivating debate. Technology demonstrations included a live streaming session with Google Glass, and attendees were also invited to explore innovative business ideas on large-scale interactive touch tables, taking to Twitter to provide feedback and vote for a favourite.

Dragons Den for Grand ideas

A live ‘Dragons Den’ pitch presented a particular highlight of the day as six finalists competed for the chance to win a grant totalling £1,500 in the Grand Ideas competition. There was also the potential to access £2,000 a month, premises and business support courtesy of Web Apps UK in partnership with the University of Salford. The winner of the £1000 first prize was Business School student, Lavina Goddard with Vinejuice, with another Business School team of students picking up third prize for Swift Parking.

Watch Dragons Den competition

Handles – social media play

The story of social media presented via a captivating live drama production called ‘Handles’ was particularly well received, encouraging the audience to think about social media in new ways and question the gap between the online world and reality.

Watch Handles social media play

The event itself was covered by attendees on social media and some of this has been captured using Storify below.

Creative Entrepreneur 2015 – Next Generation

Plans are already being made for the next event, which is being planned for late November 2015. The event will once again allow us to open our doors of MediaCityUK creating an engaging and informative free event for all. Further details of this event will be posted on this website soon and on our social media channels, we look forward to engaging with you again.

If you have any further questions or comments about last year or this year’s event, please get in touch with me –

Creative Entrepreneur 2014 Storify

Watch more from Creative Entrepreneur 2014

You can also see all the videos from the Creative Entrepreneur 2014 on Salford Business School YouTube play list