New generation of business brains to step out

Entrepreneurship consultancy Enploy partners with BCU to help graduates take The Next Step.

Entrepreneurship and enterprise consultancy Enploy has joined forces with Birmingham City University’s Employability Team for the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media to boost opportunities for the region’s emerging talent by helping graduates to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

Launched in November, the partnership between the University and the -based company will run up until the end of January, implementing a ten-week entrepreneurially focused workshop programme blending online and face-to-face learning.

Derived by Enploy, specialists in measuring and developing entrepreneurial skills, The Next Step initiative is a ten-week blended learning programme focusing on six core areas of an entrepreneurial mindset. Through a series of bitesize learning videos, tasks and self-reflection exercises graduates learn how to improve in areas such as emotional intelligence, leadership and project management.

Sallie Allen, co-founder of Enploy with over ten years of experience in graduate recruitment said: “This project focuses on boosting skills and highlighting opportunities for the region’s young talent and, through opening graduates’ eyes to the potential rewards of setting their own businesses up, we want to drive start-up engagement and growth.

“The 10-week programme is about individuals realising how accessible self-employment can be, and with features such as guest speaker slots from Barclays Eagle Labs we hope to boost engagement in start-up ventures and self-employment whilst adding value to the great work that BCU is already doing in this area.”

Delivered jointly from the multi-million-pound iCentrum and Parkside buildings at the Innovation Birmingham Campus and BCU respectively, the programme embraces and bids to improve the booming engagement in self-employment, with an extra 800 thousand people registered as working for themselves in 2015 (4.6 million) when compared to 2008 (3.8 million).

Sallie added: “Providing a different route into employment, the programme keeps those graduates motivated who may not have found their ideal employment opportunity yet, and invites individuals to consider running their own business.

“Having the partnership across both sites helps to promote the collaborative community-based ethos of the programme and its facilitators, which is emphasised through open plan office layouts, incubation spaces and campus environments in both locations. BCU is extremely well-equipped, and is a great space to develop skills to get into respective industry.”

The 27 graduates registered for the programme geared around innovation will receive support and develop an enhanced understanding around the type of environment that they want to work in, with the next scheduled workshop in the programme focusing on self-belief.

Enploy identifies, develops and measures entrepreneurial skills through a combination of online diagnostic tools, portal-based learning and physical workshops. Sallie commented: “An important outcome of this face to face and online training is that graduates are enhancing skills in areas such as emotional intelligence, creative thinking and being proactive. These attitudes are vital for succeeding in today’s workplace regardless of if they go on to work for themselves or someone else.”

The Innovation Birmingham Campus is the Midlands’ leading digital Campus and the go-to location for Birmingham’s tech community, nurturing start-ups and scale-ups through a series of business support programmes, as well as hosting a community of techies and entrepreneurs.

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