Student Enterprise Conference Returns for 2024 

The hugely popular Student Enterprise Conference returned for 2024, with the event taking place on Wednesday 21st February at The Engine Shed on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Campus. 

The day launched with a short networking session for attendees, where students were encouraged to make new connections before we began with a welcome from Student Enterprise Manager, Reece Leggett. 

Our first session of the day was focussed on business investment and funding, where we were joined by Thomas Atkins (Managing Director, Identity Agency), Laura Mallaburn (Head Business Support & Angel Network Manage, Lincoln Science & Innovation Park) & Lewis Stringer (Senior Manager UK Network – East & South-East Midlands, British Business Bank) with Reece Leggett chairing the panel. The panel outlined some of the key ways in which start-ups can go about seeking out and giving their business the best chance of securing funding, as well as some of the risks that need to be considered when deciding upon going for funding. 

After a short break, the attendees returned for our second session of the day, with our middle instalment being the Graduate Business Owner panel. We were thrilled to be joined by a wide range of University of Lincoln alumni; Maureen O’Callaghan (Beyond Money CIC), Luke Smith (Bloe Health), Osayomwanbor Wilfred Ehioba (Ehioba & Co) & Emma Haigh (Jailhouse Frock), with Dominick McOmish (Marketing & Communications Assistant, University of Lincoln) facilitating. The panel faced a wide range of questions, touching upon what inspired them to start a business, what keeps them motivated, how they manage the work/life balance as a start-up, how they go about connecting with their customers and more. 

Lunch was provided by the Engine Shed, which again gave our attendees a chance to network and connect with the speakers from the previous panels. 

Our final session of the day was a keynote session with Kay Kukoyi (Founder, Purposeful Group), who tackled the topic of AI and how it can benefit business owners, with a particular focus on adaption for SMEs. Kay delivered an insightful, engaging talk in which she outlined some of the key tools that entrepreneurial students should be looking to familiarise themselves with. 

The conference was attended by a record number of students, which shows the continued work the Student Enterprise team are doing to engage the University of Lincoln student body. Following on from the news that the University of Lincoln is a top-5 University for supporting Student Start-Ups, the Student Enterprise team is pleased that they have been able to carry on their hard work in cementing Lincoln as a hub for students looking to explore self-employment as a viable career path. 

Reece Leggett, Student Enterprise Manager, commented; “The conference is our flagship event, and we were really pleased to see such a strong turnout from students, with lots of new faces in the audience as well. Self-employment is becoming a more and more popular option for graduates, and days like today are a perfect example to spark that idea and give attendees an insight into what running a business could look like for them.” 

For more information on the conference, or the work Student Enterprise do more widely, you can contact the team at studententerprise@lincoln.ac.uk. 

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