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Two Lancaster University students, James Flynn and Ze Macedo are aiming to raise £100,000 by the end of this year with their website UniEntrepreneur.com. The website represents their own enterprises as well as serving as a “platform to find great student businesses to invest in and encourage more student Entrepreneurs.”
UniEntrepreneur was started last October and in the last few months the project has been gathering momentum. On their blog the pair talk about their love for business and entrepreneurship: “ it allows us to focus on the thing we actually want to do rather than have someone else dictate our time.”
So far Flynn and Macedo have been successful in raising £9,200 with ventures that include Kitchpack, a business selling kitchenware to incoming students, which “started as a weekend business and is in the process of expanding to over 20 Universities next year”. As well as the popular on-campus student employer BTM cleaning which offers students the opportunity to have their rooms cleaned by other students throughout the year. BTM Cleaning has also grown substantially in the last few months and now has “contracts with real estate companies and hotel chains” as well as being in the process of being sold as a franchise to Scottish Universities.
These are not the only exciting projects that the pair has been working on. There has also been talk of an App they have been developing which has pulled in “purchase offers in the region of $200,000”. When SCAN asked Macedo if he could give any details about the App he responded, “Due to investment we have to keep our lips sealed about our Apps. What we will say is… in a few months expect everyone in Sugarhouse to be using our App on their phones!”
As well as their own personal successes, James and Ze feel that UniEntrepreneur can not only document their own successes but also inspire others to embark on ventures themselves: “We’re creating a community of individuals with unique skill-sets united by their desire to succeed”. UniEntrepreneur.com offers guides on how to go about starting up your own business, how to acquire funding and how to execute a deal. The site is also populated by forums including various blogs for ‘collaborations’, ‘action logs’; ‘successes’ and ‘mess ups’ to both inspire and assist other University students who are interested in Entrepreneurship.
As well as their online presence, Flynn and Macedo have also hosted talks for the “Business and sustainable development society” at the University and plan to hold a “one hour presentation for the Entrepreneurship society in Week 9 about the businesses [they’ve] created”. This talk will focus on all aspects of their journey to success. The pair has also reportedly been talks with “NACUE/ESTA to do some bigger conferences around the UK and may also be doing a TED talk in Lancaster in May.”
SCAN asked Macedo what he felt was most valuable skills that his experiences in Entrepreneurship had taught him, he responded: “Entrepreneurship teaches you a lot of invaluable skills as you have to fulfil every role that a big company would normally delegate to specialists – designer, marketer, programmer etc. However, the main thing I feel I’ve learnt through Entrepreneurship is how to sell yourself and your business.”
Macedo went on to sum up, “For now our main goal is to get as many students with an interest in Entrepreneurship involved in the UniEntrepreneur community as possible.”
For more information please visit UniEntrepreneur.com or visit Lancaster University’s Entrepreneurship Society Facebook page to book your place for their talk on Thursday, Week 9, at 6pm.