Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship - Consulting

Faculty

The faculty and certain members of staff are available to consult for external organisations and governments, as well as large firms and SMEs, within their area of expertise.

The areas of expertise external organisations can access include:

  • Business opportunity evaluation
  • Customer development
  • e-Leadership
  • Economic theory of entrepreneurship
  • International business
  • IP management
  • Investment readiness
  • Market entry strategy development
  • New venture planning
  • Sales strategy development
  • Sourcing finance

To find out more about the areas of expertise on offer by faculty and staff and the terms of engagement, see our Faculty and Staff.

For an initial conversation about consulting on offer, contact Jurek Sikorski at jurek.sikorski@henley.ac.uk 

Students

Entrepreneurship Start-Up Consultancy Programme with Wroclaw Entrepreneurs

Since 2015 Henley Business School has run the Entrepreneurship Start-Up Consultancy Programme in collaboration with the Climate-KIC education team of Lower Silesia (EIT+), University of Economics Wroclaw, and the International Center for Entrepreneurship in Budapest. Each year roughly 30 Henley Business School students travel to Wroclaw and embark on a specially designed three day entrepreneurship consultancy programme, helping entrepreneurs challenge or validate their start-up thinking.

The students work alongside six entrepreneurs in a one day workshop with students, leading to entrepreneurs having a sharper focus for the venture plans and a stronger confidence in the words they use to explain their venture ideas to the 'potential market’.

Our 2017 Entrepreneurship Start-Up Consultancy Programme took place on the week of 12th June 2017. To view the previous trips to Wroclaw and see what the students thought, click here.

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The value of participating for entrepreneurs is guidance from Climate-KIC to articulate their business (market-making) thinking, which helps remove the focus from the technology to how the technology is received in the market. The role that students play as consultants is also important, as they are trained in entrepreneurship theory and practice but also demonstrate thinking capabilities unrestrained by corporate procedures. By asking challenging questions and using a variety of consultancy tools, they can stimulate a debate and decision making process that can help the entrepreneur understand their own start-up process better. Our students may even be potential employees, placement volunteers or sales partners to many worldwide countries.

All entrepreneur business case studies are seen solely by Climate-KIC, UE and Henley Business School and will not be shared with any other parties to ensure confidentiality.

Validation by external parties is valuable preparation for seeking equity investment and UE and Climate-KIC are well connected with local Business Angel investors. Furthermore, Henley Business School also provides you with a great network opportunity as well as access to the Henley Business Angels investment community.

For more information about MSc Entrepreneurship and Management, watch our video here.

If you're a start-up or early stage entrepreneur interested in the Entrepreneurship Start-Up Consultancy Programme, please contact Keith Heron on keith.heron@henley.reading.ac.uk

For more information about participating in the one day workshop, please contact:

Emanuela Kubicka Climate-KIC Education  Wroclawskie Centrum Badan EIT+ Sp. z o.o.  ul. Stablowicka 147  54-066 Wroclaw  Poland Tel: (+48) 727 663 301  Email: emanuela.kubicka@climate-kic.org  Website: www.climate-kic.org

Biuro Karier i Promocji Zawodowej UE we Wroclawiu  ul. Komandorska 118/120  53-345 Wroclaw Poland Website: www.biurokarier.ue.wroc.pl

Alla Witwicka-Dudek or Marta Karas Tel: (+48) 71 36 80 883  Email: marta.karas@ue.wroc.pl and alla.witwicka-dudek@ue.wroc.pl

The MSc Entrepreneurship Fast-Consultancy Incubator

Start-up and early stage entrepreneurs face many challenges, but the main one is to rapidly establish credibility and revenues for your value proposition and then develop a business model that supports its effective delivery. Many entrepreneurs over-focus on their own technology and not the ‘market response’ to the technology. Our experience shows that entrepreneurs value the opportunity to benchmark their own thinking with alternative perspectives can provide reassurance or challenge.

Many of our Entrepreneurship Masters’ students come from successful family business backgrounds based across many different countries. At Henley Business School they have learned to understand the entrepreneurship process and are now developing their own knowledge-translation capabilities to become start-up entrepreneurs.

Lean start-up requires entrepreneurs to avoid the seeking of perfection and instead focus on taking action that elicits feedback, which itself is valuable market data.

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The Fast-Consultancy Incubator works in a step-by-step process within a window of roughly two hours:

  • Entrepreneurs make a 10 minute presentation of a potential product or service to our Entrepreneurship students.
  • Our students ask some questions and then work together to record all the information gathered from the presentation, using academic models to understand what they have seen and heard.
  • Using their information recorded from the presentations, the students analyse it to spot ‘problem areas’ (which can be anything from tips to improve the presentation to identifying a suitable market for the potential product or service).
  • The students then make their own presentation to ‘reflect back’ the entrepreneur's presentation, leading to further discussion.

The outcome of the Fast-Consultancy Incubator is that the entrepreneurs get to hear their own ideas expressed in different words and receive the interpretations of others, providing a learning opportunity for both themselves students around the communication of the value proposition to help consider the market perspective. There is even the possibility of opening up a wider network to possible international markets.

As a follow on, students teams can come back in summer to work with an entrepreneur over a six week period, with weekly face to face visits. Our students also have an opportunity for an extended consultancy, working with Climate-KIC start-ups in Poland before returning for the extended consultancy project when they will have gained more confidence and and entrepreneurial skills.

For more information about MSc Entrepreneurship and Management, watch our video here.

If you're a start-up or early stage entrepreneur interested in the Fast-Consultancy Incubator, please contact Keith Heron on keith.heron@henley.reading.ac.uk

MSc Entrepreneurship Consultancy Project

Our MSc Entrepreneurship Consultancy Project aims to help ambitious and growth-seeking entrepreneurs to articulate and work through their challenges to determine the optimum growth path.

One of the biggest challenges facing start-up or early stage entrepreneurs is that successful start-up and growth is very much dependent upon the recognition of an opportunity, which then requires effective decision making and action taking. However, success can be compromised by an imbalance between technical and business capabilities, insufficient capital funding, poor knowledge of customers, or bad judgement leading to the pursuit of the wrong opportunity.

Resources are scarce and decisions need to be made quickly. Until evidence from repeated customer interactions emerges, entrepreneurs will receive many signals that need to be understood in order to make further decisions. This is a period of high excitement and energy but also high uncertainty. Our experience shows that entrepreneurs value the opportunity to benchmark their own thinking with alternative perspectives, which can provide reassurance or challenge.

Many of our Entrepreneurship Masters’ students come from successful family business backgrounds based across many different countries, with business having been a key part of their lives. They are not expert consultants, but they have been taught in great detail during their time at Henley Business School and will have already engaged in practice consultancy situations.

Consultancy requires the interplay of seeking good information in order to make meaningful propositions. Hneley Business School use an approach known as ‘Humble Inquiry’, which assumes that:

  • Only entrepreneurs will know which solutions will work in their businesses - consultants don’t know.
  • Entrepreneurs like to make their own decisions and the role of the consultant is to ‘help’ by making good propositions that entrepreneurs can assess.

During June, entrepreneurs can accommodate our student team (comprising of roughly four students) for a three hour meeting, one day each week. To fit around students calendars Wednesday and Thursday are usually best days. These weekly meetings will span across a month, with supplementary Skype calls and emails used between meetings for clarifications.

The pace of start-up and establishing a market presence means there is pressure on the student teams to deliver value quickly and effectively. The short period of regular interaction between the entrepreneurs and students is vital for establishing a trusting relationship. By providing high-quality information, the entrepreneurs providing a pressurised cycle which enables students to produce innovative thinking that they can quickly test out with you.

The outcome from this period of interaction will be a team report, produced by the students, with an analysis of the current situation and a proposal for the challenge the entrepreneur is facing. Entrepreneurs are free to agree or diagree with the report and the proposals it contains, but previous project hosts have found that making a judgement to ‘accept or reject’ these proposals is itself of great value in finalising the entrepreneur’s own decisions.

The report is only seen by the entrepreneur, the student team and their Professor at Henley Business School - all covered by the University of Reading confidentiality regulations.

Previous projects include a range of digital and ‘traditional product’ start-ups:

  • Incubator business with a marketing focus
  • App designers
  • Two-sided web based matching platform
  • Bespoke tailor
  • Charity providing innovative interventions for school leavers
  • Interior furnishings designer
  • Online learning provider for school children
  • Furniture importers
  • B2B website automation
  • SME consultancy
  • Online creative thinking tools
  • Educational advice for parents
  • Food industry product development
  • Family nursing home business

It is possible that some students might attract your attention for an internship or follow-on project. For non-EU students, under their Tier 4 visa regulations they may be able to work for you until the end of January 2018.

For more information about MSc Entrepreneurship and Management, watch our video here.

For further details, please contact Keith Heron on keith.heron@henley.reading.ac.uk

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