Our quest to improve the lives of refugees through the Hult Prize 2016/2017 and why YOU should compete in the Hult Prize

This is a blog post about the Hult Prize, written by Sarah Vitorino, a student. The Hult Prize has become the world’s largest student competition, as well as the most prestigious award on the planet for the creation of new social enterprises.

 

I first found out about the Hult Prize through a lecturer at the university. As a part-time student I wasn’t sure if I would be able to compete, but after finding 2 other members for a team, Dan, Dani and I signed up together. The challenge set by the competition was to help 10 million refugees by 2022. With the help and support from the university, our team (which we named “Team Reach”) finally decided that we would build a fashion company in Colombia, in which factory seconds and discarded materials would be used to create our own fashion line, working with up and coming designers. Since 1985, over 4 million Colombians have been displaced by the armed conflict, both within the country and crossing the border into surrounding countries. This was our chance to make a difference.

Team Reach with other International Students at Hult Prize 2017 (Sarah Vitorino is 4th from right).

After pitching to judges within Staffordshire University, we were put through to the continental finals in London. Before we went to London, we spent many hours perfecting our business plan with Tolu (our lecturer and mentor) and got support from other lecturers within the School of Business, Leadership and Economics. We were put in contact with experienced entrepreneurs who also gave us sound business advice and we also got to pitch to the university’s senior management team which included the Vice Chancellor. With the presentation and the pitch ready for London, the weekend of the finals quickly came around.  Once in London, we were introduced to, and listened to speakers including Cesar Del Valle who were so passionate about the Hult Prize and everything it stands for that straight away it wasn’t just a competition.  Yes, we wanted to win in London and go through to the next round, to eventually win, but that was secondary. What mattered was that we were stood in a room filled with students from across the world and we were all fighting for the same thing, to help refugees and to make the world a better place.

Eventually it came our time to pitch our idea. Before the competition, I would avoid public speaking at all costs. My heart was racing as we walked into the room, set up our boards and looked across the room at the judges and students.  It felt like the longest pause as we stood there at the front, then Dan started to speak. Everything fell into place.  We had run through this so many times we had it to near perfection.  We believed in what we were saying. We could see the future in the idea. I don’t remember many details from the presentation other than my constant reminders to myself of ‘make eye contact’.  We left the room relieved. It had gone as well as we could have hoped. The timing was perfect, we communicated all the information we had wanted to and the questions from the judges sounded promising.  We were called back to answer a few more questions,,, further elaborations on wages, why we had chosen Colombia? We took them in our stride…

Staffordshire University’s “Team Reach” at Hult Prize 2017

The winning team from London was a Canadian team wanting to connect refugees with locals to exchange skills. Nonetheless, our time in London was amazing. We heard ideas and pitches for things we would never have considered, we met people and made friends from all over the world, we took part in an experience that most people could only dream of. The memories of that weekend will always be with me; the atmosphere of the weekend will be something I could never forget and I became much more confident. I still get nervous at public speaking but I know now that I can do it. The biggest change in myself, however, is that I caught something that weekend. From the atmosphere, the passion of the speakers and the insights of our new friends, I want to change my life. I want my future to be about helping people and making a difference to the world because there are so many other people out there who have so much less than I do. I changed because I realised that I really can make that difference we set out to.

The Hult Prize is a fantastic event and I would advise all students to compete. It not only gives you practical skills, you get to interact with university students from around the world for a good cause. It is one of the best things that I have ever done and I am grateful for the opportunity. Go ahead and give it a try. You will not regret it.

If you would like to get involved or would like more information click here or contact:

Sarah
e: sarah.andrade.vitorino@gmail.com
t: 07496151612

Tolu
e: Tolulope.Olarewaju@staffs.ac.uk
t: 07808836580

 

Free Teaching event – Purchasing and Supply Management Fundamentals Staffordshire University 15th and 16th November

Are you a student looking to improve your knowledge and employability in Supply Chain Management area?

The perfect project event is a great opportunity to do it.

The most desired impact of the PERFECT project is an increase in the number of highly qualified students who are suitable for entering the workplace in PSM related jobs. Purchasing and Supply Management (PSM) as an enterprise function is getting more and more important as modern organizations of all types are becoming increasingly reliant on their suppliers to sustain and develop their operational and strategic performance. Therefore, the job market for PSM professionals is also growing, which means that there is not only a greater need for graduates with PSM skills, but also a greater opportunity for those that do have them.

In this PSM focused learning event, you will gain knowledge about PSM fundamentals and insights into current practice, issues and future challenges such as digitisation and sustainability in the field of PSM.

The two-day event will consist of lectures and discussions in a small training group. You will also work in smaller groups putting together a presentation based on a case study.
You will be issued with a certificate of attendance.

When will it happen? 15th-16th November 2017, 9:00-17:30
Where will it happen? Staffordshire University

Programme:
Day 1 – PSM basics
• What is the general role of PSM in organisations and which job roles are relevant?
• How to evaluate a supply market?
• How to negotiate with suppliers?

Day 2 – Future challenges for PSM
• What are future trends and challenges?
• How will digitization impact purchasing?
• How to handle sustainability standards in global supply chains?

Registration:
Please register via: http://projectperfect.eventbrite.co.uk

The number of participants is limited and places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

The event is organised and conducted by the team of the EU Erasmus+ project PERFECT (Purchasing Education and Research for European Competence Transfer).

More project information and regular updates: www.project-perfect.eu

Marzena Reszka, Staffordshire Business School

Why do women still earn less than men?

In the nearly fifty years since the passing of the Equal Pay Act the gender pay gap in the UK has proved to be stubbornly resilient. What has changed is the way economists try to explain its existence and persistence. Fifty years ago economists used to explain differences in wages predominantly in terms of differences in experience, education and training, what collectively they termed ‘human capital’. Whilst they recognised that luck, nepotism and discrimination may be important, differences in human capital were thought to be the dominant determinant of wage differentials. It was, however, recognised that female workers were typically crowded into a narrower range of occupations and industries than males. Moreover, whilst glass-ceilings constrained many female employees’ ability to move up the job-ladder, it was also evident that employers tended to place a low premium on caring skills, which traditionally have been more associated with female workers.

More recently economists have established the importance of non-cognitive productivity-related characteristics, such as motivation, resilience and initiative, in explaining differences in wages. In terms of explaining the gender pay gap this opens up three intriguing possibilities. It may be that females are, on average, less endowed with those productivity-augmenting characteristics. This may be the result of nature or nurture and here the findings that single-sex schooling may be related to lower gender pay gaps is of interest. An alternative hypothesis is that females may have, on average, different preferences, placing a lower relative value on the monetary benefits from working. A third possibility is that employers do not reward males and females similarly for a given non-cognitive characteristic. Behaviour which is seen by employers as positive when undertaken by males, such a providing leadership in group discussion, may be viewed as indicative of a poor team-player when evident in a female employee.

If we are serious as a society about eliminating the 18 per cent gender pay gap then it may be time to pay less attention to altering the behaviour of female workers and spend more time creating more male homemakers.

Nick Adnett, Professor in Staffordshire Business School

The Economic and Social Impact of Stoke City FC

The English Premier League is a global brand. Stories abound of travellers from Stoke-on-Trent travelling to far flung corners of the earth, getting into a cab, pub, or conversation and being asked; “Where are you from?” the traveller responds; “I am from Stoke” only to be told; “I know Stoke FC!”, a list of players is usually reeled out including Peter Crouch and co, and from then onward, the conversation takes on a new dimension of familiarity and friendliness.

Peter Crouch Goal Celebration

 

English Premiership Clubs have fans in all corners of the world. Jerseys are sold in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and Australia. Matches are watched on all sorts of devices and football players are household names with kids dreaming of growing up to be like their heroes or even just meeting them someday.

 

Beyond the pitch however, there is another dimension that is closer to home. Football clubs are generating huge revenues and investing these in a variety of ways with a huge impact to their local economies. For example, Stoke FC’s revenue was £11 million in the 2007/2008 football season and then Championship promotion boosted the Club’s revenue even more from commercial, match day and broadcast streams. In the 2015/2016 Stoke FC’s total revenues rose to £119 million, making them the 9th in the Premier League. The growth in the Club’s income since joining the Premier League has enabled it to significantly increase its investment in the region and grow the profile of the Club and the city at home and abroad.  Some key regional and social impact statistics for Stoke FC for the 2015/2016 season are shown in Table 1.

 

Table 1: Key Regional Economic and Social Impact of Stoke City FC Statistics (2015/2016 Season)
2,391 international visits
119,000+ domestic tourists
£7 million visitor spending
301 direct Club employees (FTEs)
£1.3 million spent on local community initiatives
£29 million spent on Club supply chains (some local)

 

In addition to the impact highlighted in Table 1, the Club has also expanded its stadium to boost match day attendance and attract more visitors to the region, invested in players from the UK and abroad to extend the reach of its fan base to other areas of the globe, invested around £4million into its academy providing local young people with opportunities to develop their football careers at the Club, and invested in the Community Trust to work with the wider community to target individuals who want to get back into education, employment or generally improve their health or mental well-being.

 

Not only does success on the pitch attract visitors to the region who spend on travel, accommodation and food and drink, there is the indirect effect from the supply chain and the induced impact from increased employee spending. Analysis from Ernst & Young LLP shows that Stoke City FC generated a total Gross Value Added contribution of 132 million to the region during the 2015/2016 season. £108 million was directly contributed via the club and its tourism, a further £13 million was generated via indirect effects in local supply chains and £10 million was generated via induced effects. This activity also attracts businesses to locate their operations within the area.

Staffordshire University students and staff with Tony Scholes (CEO of Stoke FC)

 

Granted that a lot of the players might not live in the region, the activities of Stoke City FC resulted in an estimated £66million total liability to the Exchequer in 2015/2016. The presence of Stoke City FC also supported many FTE jobs in the regional economy during that period. 301 people were directly employed by the club, 853 people were employed by relevant supply chains, 401 people were employed via tourism to watch Stoke FC, and a further 682 were employed because of induced effects.

 

Beyond these, the Club supports a variety of initiatives to improve the lives of individuals and communities, working with a number of stakeholders including schools, local government and wider supporting organisations (e.g. the premier league). Community activities are delivered by Stoke City FC’s Community Trust (SCCT) which was founded in 1989 and became a registered charity in 2004. Ernst & Young LLP estimate that around 10,900 people have participated in community and charitable programmes in 2015/2016. 119,600 day trips were organised and 304 people have gained at least one qualification as a result of the Clubs initiatives. During the period under review, 10,246 hours of volunteering community work was done with the result of £8.7 million savings for the local community on physical wellbeing and £2.9 million savings on mental well being from increased physical activity.

 

With these key statistics, it is not hard to cheer for our local team. The sporting and commercial success of the Club in recent years, which includes breaking their transfer record twice in the 2015/2016 season, has allowed Stoke FC to further embed itself as a key member of our local economy. We at Staffordshire University will continue to cheer for the club. You should do the same too 😊😊😊!!!

 

Industry vote of confidence in UK’s first esports degree

A trailblazing degree dedicated to the rapidly growing esports industry has received the backing of the UK’s leading industry experts.

Staffordshire University announced in May that it was launching the country’s first BA (Hons) Esports degree and has been overwhelmed with enquiries from prospective students from all over the world.

The University recently invited organisations including British Esports Association, Ukie, The National University Esports League (NUEL), Fast Web Media and Codemasters to make up an industry panel and help advise on modules making up the course which aims to supply skilled graduates to the global gaming industry.

Gaming Conviction.com: “Staffordshire to offer degree in esports”

This offers the opportunity of future collaboration and companies like Red Bull have already offered student work placements at their new esports studio in London.

Rachel Gowers, Associate Dean for Recruitment in Staffordshire Business School, said: “It is vital that the degree supports the needs of those working and recruiting to this specialist sector. The industry is driving the creation of new jobs and companies are looking for people who are both entrepreneurial and tech savvy.

“Our course focuses on the business and culture of esports from developing teams, communities and a fan base to hosting esports events. We are delighted to be partnering with the businesses and organisations who can help us to fine tune the course prior to launch in 2018.”

Joana Ferreira of Fast Web Media, a digital marketing company which played a major role in promoting the first esports industry awards, said she was delighted to be part of the process.

“Being a part of this panel is very exciting for me. Having worked within digital marketing for esports for a couple of years now, it’s fantastic to be able to help mould what future esports employees look like and what it takes to run an esports business. Staffs Uni is impressively forward thinking, and this esports degree is just another testament to that.”

The University has also won the high profile backing of Ed Vaizey MP and Vice Chair of the British Esports Association.

He added: “Staffordshire University’s decision to establish an esports course is visionary and far sighted. Esports is one of the fastest growing entertainment mediums in the world, and anything that can help the UK establish itself as a centre for this exciting industry should be celebrated.”

The new degree course is in direct response to the Ukie white paper on esports. Dr Bobbie Fletcher, Associate Professor of Games Education, said: “Plans to grow the UK as an esports hub brings huge opportunities and we are well placed as a University to respond to that. Connecting with industry in this way enables us to benefit from their expertise and exciting work experience opportunities.”

Prospective students are invited to visit Staffordshire University on Sunday 22 October for an esports taster event. Taking place between 11am – 6pm at the LRV on Leek Road, Stoke-on-Trent (ST4 2DF), this is an opportunity to experience esports, get hands-on with the games and have a go at casting. It’s also a chance to find out about university teams and watch them compete in the Esports Varsity. Book here

 

Author: Maria Scrivens, Media Relations Manager

The economic benefits of a vibrant university and Business School

Dean of Staffordshire Dr Peter Jones reflects on the start of term and the economic benefits of a vibrant university and Business School in the region.

Last month the population of Stoke-on-Trent changed and transformed as the annual autumn migration to University got underway. Students both arrived and left the city and the region to start or continue their higher education. For Stoke-on-Trent there was a sudden influx of people from not just around the country but from around the world who bring a vibrancy, culture and diversity to the six towns.
This changing demographic is vital for the city and the region. Students and associated workers spending cash on renting property, in bars, eating food and even buying books – students are important for our economy. University students also provide a transient workforce providing casual labour to the region’s businesses. Importantly they will go on to become the qualified and educated future workforce. And this is vital for Stoke-on-Trent.

For a city like Stoke where we have high employment, but typically a low skilled and low wage workforce, a strong University is key and is vital in the economic growth of the city, county and region. This is not a situation that is restricted just to Stoke-on-Trent. In the late 1990s funding of the Northern Powerhouse cities resulted in massive urban repopulation and redevelopment. The growth of cities such as Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and also in the West Midlands / Birmingham meant that the smaller Midlands cities were somewhat overlooked and forgotten about.

However, the introduction of increased numbers of people entering higher education has to a greater or lesser extent be the saviour of many if these economically slowing towns and cities in the Midlands. Places like Coventry, Northampton, Derby, Leicester and Lincoln all now have growing economies where local and regional politicians work hand in with the local “new” university to invent themselves and their identity of place. With the changing role of councils and their declining budgets, the role of the university in developing place has become even more paramount.

I would argue that Business Schools have a key role in new universities as all businesses do business and, I would argue, need business graduates. Therefore, the key to the regional economic growth is a strong Business School. A Business School that is connected to the region’s employers and producing students who bring ideas and support innovation and growth by completing internships, placements and sandwich years with the region’s companies. In our digital age this input from millennials and generation Z is key for innovation and economic growth.

It is also vital that Business Schools are not just outward looking but also develop the business skills of students in other disciplines within their own universities such as entrepreneurship which will help them become the next generation of start-ups and business leaders.

Super Seven Skills in Esports 

On Friday 8 September our Associate Dean for Recruitment Rachel Gowers, set off on a trip to Bergen Norway to see esports in the classroom.  Rachel’s journey started off bright and early by flying to Bergen and then catching a bus into the City Centre, then catching a train, another bus which turned out to be the wrong bus before deciding to get a taxi to the Norwegian School… I would say she has definitely been on an adventure even before the esports fun commenced.

 

Once Rachel arrived at the school she was introduced by Petter Grahl Jonstad, who assisted in introducing esports to the school in 2016. Petter originally had a background in social science and used his research to find out the transferable skills acquired through sports and chess.  When creating the esports course his philosophy was to look at the whole student as well as provide general well-being. To do this he decided that students would have two hours a week of gym sessions, 1 hour of strength training and 3 hours of game play a week to make sure they had a good balance. Petter was very interested in engaging students who were non-academic and to do this he made the requirement that all students must pass all their other subjects, by doing this he has seen a general improvement in attitude, motivations, English language and overall improved communication.

Our focus is not only on the mechanics of the game, but also on how a team works, theory regarding motivation as a professional gamer and, last but not least, teamwork. Understanding the game is one thing, but if the communication does not work within the team, if the players can’t rely on each other, you practically have nothing in our opinion”
Petter Grahl Jonstad

Since introducing esports the school has become oversubscribed and students are even moving house to attend the college. The classes are taught by ex-pro gamer Sindre Rygg, who has competed in the second biggest area network called The Gathering and went to Korea to compete in The Masters of Cheon where they came fourth.

While in Norway Rachel got to meet the next generation of esports managers and players, this allowed Rachel to visualise what type of graduates will be coming out of Staffordshire Business School in the near future. Rachel spoke to three of the students studying esports and here is what they had to say:

‘Esports helps me to concentrate in other classes because I know I have to work hard.’
Christian Nilsen

‘Esports helps me to communicate and work in a team to achieve something’.
Henrik Flo Wilhelmsen

‘Esports practices your brain to think quickly and have fast reaction times.’
Jorgen Treit Brevset

Rachel has come back from Norway more driven and inspired to get the esports course ready for 2018 and cannot wait for it to be part of the Business School. She has also learnt the super seven skills that will be imbedded within the course. These skills are:

  • Decision Making
  • Multi-tasking
  • Problem Solving
  • Perception
  • Communication
  • Team Builder
  • Numeracy

Click here for more information on studying a BA (Hons) Esports degree at Staffordshire University

Joshua Lonsdale, Graduate Intern within Staffordshire Business School

Business School accounts on twitter

Main School accounts

Business School @BusinessStaffs several staff and students have access to this account, the main users are Prof Jon Fairburn and Angela Lawrence. Ranked No 1 by Edurank for Business Schools

Tourism and Events – @tourismsu Prof Jon Fairburn and students

Management Team

Dr Peter Jones @pgwjones_dr Dean and ‘selfie king’

Rachel Gowers @rggowers   Associate Dean Recruitment and e-sports

Alison Maguire @AMAG45   Head of Department- Accounting, Finance and Economics

Dr Vish  Maheshwari @DrVish_M Head of Business, Management and Marketing

Academics

Tony Bickley – @tonybickley    Accounting  and #parlez-vous digital

Prof Rune By @Prof_RuneTBy Organisational Behaviour & Change Leadership

Isabel Clarke @theisabelclarke Events management

Dr Nurdilek Dalziel @NurdilekDalziel Digital marketing

Paul Dobson @PaulDobsonuk Digital marketing, entrepreneurship, SMEs, social enterprises

Dr Jana Fiserova @DrJanaFiserova Economics, DBA and European partnerships

Dr Andy Hanks @ajhanks_dr  HRM, CIPD, trade unions

Dr Andy Hirst @AndyHirst1956 International Business, Supply Chain Management, Risk Mgt Project Mgt, Strategy and Leadership

Dr Mehtap Hisarciklilar @MHisarciklilar  Economics, PhD enquiries

Dr John Hudson @brucie_rooster  Employee well being

Dr Andras Kenez @Andras_Kenez  Marketing

Angela Lawrence @IteroAnge  Apprenticeships and marketing

Dr Tolu Olarewaju @ToluOlarewaju Economics

Karl McCormack –  @KMcCormackSU Accounting

Bharati Singh @BharatiCSingh Strategy and banking

Carol Southall @cdesouthall  Tourism and Events Management

Hazel Squires – @HazelSquire Under-graduate Business Management Award Leader, Small Business Charter and Silverworkers project

Mark Wordley @markwordleyUK Accounting and finance, work placements and SMEs

Courses

MSc Digital Marketing Management  @MScDigStaffs

Projects

EU project @Silverworkers 

EU project  EUFORIA @XKeuforia

Welcome to Staffordshire University!

Welcome week, more commonly known as Freshers’ week, is officially your first week at university and is the perfect opportunity for you to unpack, make new friends and find out more about your course. My advice would be to get involved with as much as you can to ensure you get the most out of this first week.

Your first day of your new independent life will begin on Saturday 16th September – Moving in day! All your hard work over the past year has paid off and now is the time for your new adventure to start as you move into your new home for the next year.

Before you can start unpacking you need to do your face-to-face enrolment in the sports hall – if you have been to one of our open days you may already know where this is but if not just ask one of our friendly Student Ambassadors and they will be happy to help. Here you will not only receive the keys to your new home, but you will also get your student card which enables you to get student discount in a wide variety of shops and restaurants!

When everything is unpacked and you have met your flatmates, it’s time to relax and have a bit of fun before your studying starts. The LRV will be hosting a ‘Moving In Party’ and this is your chance to meet lots of other first years from all different courses and enjoy yourself (please drink responsibly, DrinkAware have some hints and tips for staying safe).

On Sunday 17th September, there is a family fun day open to everyone where there will be stalls, street food, music and much more! It is also enrolment day for students who are studying off site which will take place in the sports hall.Monday 18th September is officially the first day of Welcome Week. Each individual course will give out their timetable and there will be welcome sessions where you will find out more information about your course. These sessions are important and I highly recommend that you attend – start how you mean to go on! In the sessions, you will get the following information:

  • A breakdown of your course
  • The plan for the year
  • Meet your tutors – Good first impressions are important
  • Reading/books list
  • Meet your course mates – you will be learning and working with these people so good to get off on a good start!

Wednesday 20th September is the Students’ Union Day and is the highlight of Welcome Week! This day hosts the ‘Freshers’ Fair/Commercial Fair’ (located in the LRV) where you can get your hands on lots of freebies, discounts, vouchers and food! The ‘Clubs and Societies Fair’ (located in the sports hall and Brindley outpost) is also held on Wednesday and gives you the chance to browse and join up to a number of the hundreds of clubs and societies that are run across the university.

On Thursday 21st September, the LRV is hosting a ‘Laser Tag’ event, 16:00-21:00 and entry is free!

Friday 22nd September is the last day of Welcome Week and is the launch of the LRV‘s new club night ‘Eclipse’.

Don’t forget to check out the wristbands available to purchase that will guarantee entry to the Move-In Party, special events and club nights. Click here to get yours!

For more advice on what to do and where to go during welcome week click here.

Enterprise training for 50 somethings and over

Are you aged 50 or over and are you thinking about setting up your own business? Or maybe you just fancy exploring a few ideas and getting some training?

Do you have a hobby or interest in an area you could turn into a business? Do you want a better work-life balance? Are you unemployed, facing redundancy or looking for a change? If the answer to any of these questions is yes then sign up now to this exciting new training course with the Business School at Staffordshire University.

We are offering you the opportunity to participate in a free face to face and online learning course that has been developed through identifying the needs of older workers. Through coaching, mentoring and training provided you will potentially be able to develop the entrepreneurial and enterprising knowledge and skills necessary to set up your own business.

Older woman facing camera behind flowers

We will look at areas such as how to obtain finance for your business and assess its viability. We even look at how to come up with a business idea in the first place, and once you know what you want to do we then guide you through the process of how to set it up. We help you to identify who your customers will be and how to promote your product to them. For those of you who feel you lack confidence we look at how to overcome some of the obstacles and barriers to ensure success.

The first of these courses will commence on 31st January 2018 and will include approximately 40 hours of face to face and online learning over a period of 1-3 months. The training is flexible so that you can choose to study the areas that best suit your needs. Following the training you will be signposted to a range of mentoring and support in the development of your business.

To register your interest in the course, please complete the application form using one of the links below. If you have completed the downloadable application form, please return it to Tom Ward at t.ward@staffs.ac.uk or the postal address detailed on the form. Should you require further information or a hard copy of the form, you can e-mail Tom or contact him on 01782 294902.

Online application form

Downloadable application form

Twitter: @silver_workers

Silver Workers "Use your expertise" logo

Funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and EU flag logo