In his capacity as a Global Education Consultant, UCFB and GIS Associate Lecturer Andy Golding has recently presented at Conferences in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and Baku in Azerbaijan. The conferences were part of the ‘Creative Spark’, Higher Education, Enterprise project funded by the British Council in partnership with Middlesex University.

Here, Andy summarises his involvement in the project, what he hopes to achieve and how he’s encouraging students to follow in his footsteps…

‘Creative Spark’ is a five year initiative (2018 – 2023) with the key aim of developing entrepreneurship and enterprise skills for students and young entrepreneurs in the Ukraine, Central Asia and the South Caucasus in support of the under-developed creative enterprise sector and to provide better job opportunities

In his key note addresses, Andy talked about his own role as an entrepreneur and innovator in the education sector, the challenges that he faced in a rapidly changing, technology-driven environment and what he believes are the key success factors in developing, sustaining and growing a new business.

He also talked about his role at UCFB and GIS, where he provides guidance to budding entrepreneurs including acting as Trustee in conjunction with Dr Nick Wilde, GIS Dean, School of Sports Business and Management and current MSc Football Business student, Nick Walton on a project inspired by UCFB entrepreneurship winner, Andrian Selivestru, specific to supporting Ukrainian Refugees through football.

There were also a number of ‘pitches’ made by students at the conferences where Andy formed a ‘panel of experts’ to provide feedback on their business ideas. He also took part in a ‘flipped’ ‘Dragon’s Den’ scenario, where students were able to question Andy on an idea that he pitched to demonstrate the need for a robust and well–thought out plan.

Andy stated: “Knowledge exchange (and application to real world settings) is key to the growth of the entrepreneurial mind-set and I am delighted to know that I have been able to play a role in helping young people through enterprise activity and make a contribution to the 760,000 students, who have to date, engaged in the Creative Spark initiative”.

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