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Taking a twist on traditional degrees as students start-up businesses

Press release   •   Nov 15, 2013 00:00 GMT

Northumbria University, Newcastle has become one of the first universities in the UK to launch a radical new programme in which students spend two years establishing and running their own business.

The new Entrepreneurial Business Management programme, offered by the University’s Newcastle Business School, sees students studying on campus for their first year, developing an understanding of the core business disciplines whilst honing their business ideas and plans. They then move to the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead where they spend the next two years running businesses in teams.

The scheme provides an experiential learning environment in which to embed their learning and enables them to graduate with unique knowledge, skills and behaviours.

The programme, based on a philosophy developed by Finland’s Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, aims to equip students with the skills, confidence, contacts, experience and reflective ability required to establish and develop a successful business.

Students will work as part of a team to run their business and will be coached, rather than lectured, by their tutors during the two years of establishing and running a business. Links with business and industry will provide additional support.

Yorkshire Bank will offer free business banking facilities, mentoring and sectorial advice. Watson Burton LLP law firm will provide legal advice and mentoring support, as well as access to space in its Newcastle, Leeds and London offices for meetings. The North East Chamber of Commerce will offer free membership to the students while they are running their business.

Luke Monterosso, 18, is currently studying the Entrepreneurial Business Management programme. Luke, originally from the West Midlands, explained why he competed for a place on this course: “I've always wanted to start-up my own business but have always wanted a little experience beforehand so the Entrepreneurial Business Management course at Northumbria University appealed to me. It provides a 'fast-track' method of gaining lots of practical knowledge and experience in the business world by making mistakes, reflecting and learning from real life business practice.”

Fellow student George Cocks, 18, from Whalley, added: “The course is definitely a new and revolutionary way of learning. By being allowed scope and relatively free reign to take our business in any direction we choose, our team are in a unique position where we shape our own learning, having total control over finance, marketing, and advertising. By learning through practical application of theory I am gaining a head-start in business and entrepreneurship.”

Dr Jane Turner, Associate Dean for Business and Engagement in Newcastle Business School, explained: “Northumbria University has an excellent reputation for creating experiential learning opportunities. We know that work-based learning produces distinctive, differentiated graduates who truly stand out from the crowd. We anticipate that students graduating from the programme will want to stay in the North East and run their own businesses, or enter organisations as real intrapreneurs who make a difference.”

Simon Lenney, Head of Business & Private Banking (North East) at Yorkshire Bank, added: “We are delighted to be partnering Newcastle Business School’s Entrepreneurial Business Management programme as it allows us to help foster grass roots entrepreneurs into the North East with the support of a dynamic university Business School.”

Gillian Hall, Senior Partner from Watson Burton LLP, said: “We are delighted to support Northumbria University in launching this pioneering programme. The skills obtained by students will not only have long-term economic benefits for the North East, but also for the wider economy once students complete the course.

“As a commercial law firm we understand entrepreneurs and what drives them. We are very much looking forward to helping this next generation of entrepreneurs start their business careers.”

For further information about the Entrepreneurial Business Management degree, sign up to visit Northumbria University’s Open Day on Saturday 30 November at

Date posted: November 15, 2013

Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focussed, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. To find out more about our courses go

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