London South Bank University (LSBU's) support for students and graduates to develop their skills and motivations for self-employment has been internationally recognised as award-winning: they were the Times Higher Entrepreneurial University of the Year in 2016 and have since built on this further by securing awards for their work to embed activities within the university curriculum and their incubation support.
Students and alumni with aspirations for self-employment and entrepreneurship are supported at LSBU through a range of free activities, programmes and events, which enhance activities that take place within the university curriculum.
Based at the Clarence Centre for Enterprise and Innovation, LSBU’s Enterprise and Innovation Institute works with all seven academic schools, six Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and 72 small businesses based on the university campus to motivate, connect, challenge and develop students’ and graduates’ enterprise skills and entrepreneurial mind-set.
Students and graduates are encouraged to explore self-employment whilst they study and after they graduate through a programme of extra-curricular events and workshops, internship and consultancy opportunities, bespoke mentoring and advice (including access to an IP expert) and competitions.
Alongside this, free IPSE membership is offered to all students so that they can build valuable external connections, access networks of inspirational entrepreneurs and explore detailed resources to further develop their freelance careers.
LSBU is also a hub for wider business support activities: we offer a comprehensive range of business support programmes that enable entrepreneurs and SMEs within London to flourish and grow. Support includes free 1-2-1 consultancy from students and academic experts and use of specialised equipment and facilities at the university.
Case study: South Bank Collective CIC Photography Agency
Launched in 2015, the South Bank Collective CIC is a photography agency run and staffed entirely by students, giving them commercial experience and opportunities to develop their skills and build their professional portfolio.
Working across a range of briefs, including artwork, events, marketing and creative projects, the Collective enables students to gain experience of working as freelancers, through liaising with clients to agree a brief and a price, managing a shoot and delivering images to meet the needs of the client. Students also learn the basics of being a freelancer, building their expertise and experience in invoicing, preparing quotes, budgeting and insurance.