Seven business leaders have been chosen to become the first Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
The successful businesspeople will bring real-world expertise and entrepreneurial practice to students, academics and the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) who get support from UCLan’s Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise (LSBE).
The chosen seven are: Pam Steed, Managing Director of Monarch Personnel Group Ltd; Andy Gullick, Chief Executive of RIFT Social Enterprise; Glen Higson, Founder and Managing Director of Business Insight 3 Ltd; Michelle Bondesio, Business Coach, Consultant, Writer and Podcaster at Growth Sessions/Bondesio C&C; Rupert Gatty, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CoolKit Limited; Russell Hogarth, who ran his own companies for 25 years before retiring, and Joanne Boyd, Managing Director of CJX Business Services.
Joanne, who already works with UCLan’s Digitalplus to provide impartial advice and support to Lancashire SMEs, said: “As a business owner of an SME in Lancashire I am both delighted and honoured to be to be invited by UCLan to become a member of their new Entrepreneurs in Residence network.
“I have been very fortunate to have received tremendous support from UCLan’s Centre for SME Development through networking events, digital marketing and personal development. As a very successful business in Lancashire I look forward to being able to bring specialist expertise to both the students and the SME community to help them bring their entrepreneurial vision to reality.”
Each EIR will choose what support they will offer, but options will include mentoring students, guest lecturing, hosting student placements, sitting on advisory panels, contributing to curriculum reviews, and supporting academic research. They will also be able to take part at ‘Ask the expert’ sessions and career and employer events.
Rupert, whose multi-award-winning company is the UK’s largest manufacturer of refrigerated vans, commented: “It is a great honour to be nominated to join the Entrepreneurs in Residence at UCLan’s Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise. The Business School has a great reputation for student start-ups, and I look forward to working with the next generation of business owners.
“I received great support from universities when growing my business CoolKit and so I am here to help the next generation as much as I can to unlock their true potential. I’m looking forward to supporting students with their own journeys and I can’t wait to hear their great ideas as part of the wider support that makes them a reality.”
The group was selected by a panel after nominations were submitted by LSBE staff. The EIR network will be coordinated by the award-winning UCLan Centre for SME Development, a free network for the region’s SMEs.
Professor Sue Smith, Chair of UCLan’s Centre for SME Development, commented: “This helps us to continue to strengthen our links with SMEs, drawing on the expertise of our Entrepreneurs in Residence for the benefit of the University and the region.”
Professor Chris Pyke, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Justice, added: “This provides a great opportunity for our staff, students and graduates to receive even more enterprising support from the Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise.”