Bigger and better workshops
For Autumn 2018 we introduced a lot more workshops, more than we had ever run before and boy, did the team feel it. Our diaries have been ram-packed but the mentors did a cracking job of providing consistent, high-quality advice and guidance throughout both the Propeller Enterprise Programme and Bite-sized Briefings.
We’ve got another jam-packed schedule for you in Term 2 too! Check out our events page to book onto our workshops and events.
The Propeller Enterprise Programme
The Propeller Enterprise Programme has proven to hold strong this year, with the two new workshops seeming popular. Brilliant Business Ideas was introduced for those who want to explore different business ideas before starting their own enterprise, and Fundamental Sales and Marketing presented by our external mentor Susan Fermor for – you guessed it – fundamental sales and marketing knowledge. In the new year we are going to change this workshop so that it primarily focuses on marketing, with the sales aspect being covered in a bite-sized briefing (see below).
Beginning September 2019, we began running Bite-Sized Briefings to complement the existing workshop programme. These are shorter briefings designed to provide a crash course on skills needed to aid you in your journey. Given their popularity, we have decided to keep the bite-sized briefings for term 2, with some adjustments:
- Online Security briefings will no longer run
- Basic Business Negotiation Skills will now be run as a combined Sales & Negotiation briefing
- Russell Hogarth’s Local Business Insights will be rebranded as The Inspiring Entrepreneur, to better reflect the advice and guidance given.
- Two new workshops ‘Confident Networking’ and ‘Perfect Your Elevator Pitch’ will be introduced, to help you become more confident in pitching yourself and your ideas.
In line with your feedback, we will be extending some sessions, as well as adding more examples and activities to the sessions. However, some of you may be sad to hear that despite Craig’s best efforts to tamper with the feedback forms, we’re not sure hot chocolate is going to make the cut.
This term we trialled evening time slots for both workshops and drop-in sessions. The added flexibility proved to be a hit for the workshops, but not for drop-in sessions. As such, we will continue to hold evening workshops, but evening drop-in sessions will no longer run. We will, however, be trialling drop-ins within the social spaces in the coming year.
We would like to say thank you to all the speakers we have had throughout 2018, covering a wide range of topics from what it takes to set up a social enterprise to protecting your business online and offline.
Speakers are already in place for Term 2 (more details coming soon!), but we are already thinking about what comes next. We want to make sure Propeller Networking events remain relevant to you, so any feedback you give us will help influence our events moving forward. If you can spare 1 minute, we have a quick feedback form for you to fill out.
As of the 17th of December, our online learning environment Flightpath is now live! If you are considering the life of a freelancer or feel you may need those skills and knowledge for the future, Flightpath is for you.
Flightpath is something the team has been working on over the past year and we are excited to finally be able to show it to you. The first module is now available for you to try and looks at how your own skills, behaviours and attributes can be used as a freelancer. The soft launch allows us to see how Flightpath works for real users and we will be collecting data in order to improve the platform as we move ahead. We’re eager to hear what you think and at this stage we are very much open to opinions and feedback.
To create an account and begin your own Flightpath, click here. You can also access it any time through our website.
The new Propeller Hub
The Propeller Hub is our very own incubation space for innovative and entrepreneurial activity, on the 4th floor of the Media Factory. The space underwent a refurbishment in the summer and was officially re-launched by Liz Bromley on the 22nd of October. Membership starts from £20.83 and includes the following:
- Media booths
- Open space with projector
- Work pods
- Printing, telephony & IT
- Access to specialist facilities
- UCLan trading address
- Business support & mentoring
If you would like to find out more about renting the space, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a meeting for you in the new year.
Propeller Enterprise Award
Once more, we ran the Propeller Enterprise Award this term, offering up to £1,000 for your business idea or start-up. We received 37 applications this term, with 13 awards given. You can read about what the winners intend to do with their funding here.
There will be another round in the Spring term, so keep your eyes peeled for more information!
Changes to the team
Over the course of the year, we’ve said hello to four new staff members:
- Elizabeth Pickstock (Liz) – Business Advisor
- Joseph Buglass (Joe) – Enterprise & Incubation Champions Co-ordinator
- Hugh Roberts – U Start Student & Graduate Enterprise Project Manager
- Toni Bellamy – Marketing Co-ordinator
If you don’t know what their job titles mean, feel free to ask!
Mark Wayne has been helping Propeller with the website and has been pivotal in setting up Flightpath. As of December, we have to give him back to the iLab, but we are grateful for the work he has done as a part of the U Start ERDF project.
December also marks a change in management for Propeller. Anne Newman has led the team for the past two years, providing insight and attention to each Propeller project. An inspiring leader, we are sad to see her go and wish her all the best in the future.
Being a bit more social
Something we have heard fairly often is “Propeller’s a really useful service, I don’t know why more people don’t know about it!” You know what? Same.
So we thought we’d do something about it! Now that we have someone specifically looking after Propeller marketing, we’ve increased our online presence, so you can keep up to date with us in your own way. Find us on:
To round everything off, we just want to say thank you to every member of staff, every student, graduate and business that we’ve worked with this year. Propeller exists to help you get further in your own goals, and would be nothing without you. Each member of the team really does enjoy working with you and you make our days that bit more interesting. So, cheers!