Start-up Britain Comes to Reading

1 October 2012

Start-up Britain Comes to Reading

'So you think you can set up your own business?' was one of the questions asked when the Start-up Britain Bus came to Reading on Monday...


'So you think you can set up your own business?' was one of the questions asked when the Start-up Britain Bus came to Reading on Monday. As part of its national tour, the Bus visited the University offering students the opportunity to talk to entrepreneurs and business advisors. Also involved were speakers and contacts from the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Centre contacts included former Reading student Tiernan Mines of Universe who joined Roy Kimani and James Hakesley of Nideo to talk to students about how they set up their own businesses. They were supported by Keith Heron of the Centre, a former entrepreneur himself. Seminars for students included sessions on branding with entrepreneur lecturer, Dr Jess Co, and the art of networking with Claire Jones from the University's Careers, Placement and Experience Centre.

There was also the opportunity to learn about how to run a business with a difference. Kelvin Hughes, CEO of Newbury Community Resource Centre, talked to students about the social and environmental impacts of running a social enterprise and how business can measure impact in more ways than financial. Students will have the opportunity themselves to have a go at creating a social enterprise business plan in the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship and Student in Free Enterprise society (SIFE) business plan competition which provides the winners with the opportunity to see their project become a SIFE project. For further information, email

Stuart Morris rounded off the day with a provocative session on setting up your own business. His interactive session asked the audience to think about their ability to deal with risk and uncertainty as well as requiring them to think about how to define business success. A serial entrepreneur himself, Stuart talked about the highs and lows of running your own business and the social, spiritual, environmental and financial impacts involved.

Stuart said: 'It was great to see such a varied audience who really engaged with what I was trying to get across. The highs of running your own business cannot be underestimated, however, it also requires the ability to carry on when things get tough and to really be honest about your ability to deal with risk, to get out there and form strategic alliances when needed, and to gain support through your networks.'

Caroline Oxtoby, a University Reading student, who also attended the lecture explained: 'I really enjoyed Stuart's talk. I've set up my own website in the past, and know how hard it is to be successful at setting up a venture. The talk has given me the inspiration to try again and it's great to know there are other people out there doing the same thing and succeeding.'