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Castle students offered fast-track to entrepreneurial success

Students across all master's courses at Leicester Castle Business School (LCBS) have the chance to gain both a degree and a realistic plan for a start-up.

The Entrepreneurship Project is an option for students who want to start their own businesses or wish to hone their entrepreneurial skills, which are highly valued by companies all over the world.

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This is a new addition to the Castle programme, with a highly-skilled team in place to expose students to the very latest thinking and practice.

Professor Dana Brown, Principal of De Montfort University Leicester's (DMU) business school for the 21st century, is particularly excited about this venture.

She said: "LCBS is working together with the Research, Business and Innovation Directorate (RBI) to deliver this project. It capitalises on our network of contacts and the strength of the team, who combine strong research profiles with real-world practice.

"The project is attractive to students with aspirations to start their own business as well as anyone who wants the ability to put together a business plan and test it in the market - skills which are valuable to any business or organisation."

Students will spend their third semester working on a business plan - in place of a conventional dissertation or executive company project - with guidance from an academic and a local entrepreneur. They will report on it through interactive software before presenting to a panel of mock investors.

Professor Brown, who played a key role in the start-up phase of Amazon, added: "They will leave with a viable business plan that has had feedback from experts."

Leading the project's development is Christos Kalantaridis, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a much-published academic with international interests.

He said the module offers students an opportunity to be more engaged with real-world practice - and it all starts with an idea.

"At LCBS, we are much more about doing, finding out about things and developing ideas that could make a difference and have an impact," said Professor Kalantaridis.

"The skills students will gain are valid even for the public sector, as employees have to be entrepreneurs in the way they act, coming up with ideas and taking them forward.

"The programme will enable students to develop a business plan much faster than they would otherwise."

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Joining him is Paul Hughes, DMU's new Professor of Strategic Management and a highly-skilled data analyst and business thinker. His research has encompassed some of the biggest companies in the USA as well as SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in the UK.

Professor Hughes said: "Being entrepreneurial or starting your own business can be daunting. The entrepreneurial project here at LCBS will help equip students to venture down this path with greater confidence and the know-how to succeed.

"There are so many factors at play in the background in business, and understanding them is key to making the best strategic decisions."

LCBS is also welcoming three Vice-Chancellor's 2020 Lecturers to further strengthen the team - enterprise specialists Dr Dyneshia Johnson and Dr Huriye Yeröz Aygören and management lecturer Dr Gertjan Lucas.

Professor Kalantaridis added: "These new appointments are exciting, bringing with them a good balance of skills between academic expertise and relevance for practice."

Posted on Thursday 17th November 2016

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