4 Things that Aspiring Entrepreneurs can learn from the England Rugby Team

As we enter November and preparations for Global Entrepreneurship Week begin around the World, Angela Lawrence, Associate Dean of Staffordshire Business School reflects on sporting success, failure and the qualities of a successful entrepreneur

Mention the title entrepreneur and who do you think of? Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Anita Roddick? These famous names are just the tip of the iceberg – actually there are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world. So with a world population of 7.7 billion, this means that there is approximately a 1 in 13 chance that you are or will become an entrepreneur!

Whilst cheering the England boys along in the Rugby World Cup recently, it has occurred to me that our team offers a few tips for budding entrepreneurs. England last won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, so the battle continues after 16 years of knock backs and failed efforts. Disappointment in the finals, losing against the Springboks shouldn’t lessen acknowledgement of the victory that we saw just one week earlier, when England beat the All Blacks to claim their place in the finals.

So, what can the budding entrepreneur learn from a team of brawny sportsmen who crashed out at the final hurdle?

1. Never give up

The odds were against our England boys in the semi-finals against the All Blacks, but they stood proud and strong as they faced their nemesis, determined not to give up or let the competition threaten them.

Even after suffering a crushing defeat in the finals the England team should take time to recognise what they have achieved over the course of the competition. As coach Eddie Jones said after the game, they “didn’t meet their goal to be the best team in the World, but they are the second best team in the World, so that’s how they should be remembered”.

Nothing is impossible. At times you will probably make wrong decisions, feeling like everything is going against you, but when the chips are down you need to stand strong – pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again. It’s all about resilience and the ability to bounce back from adversity.

2. Everyone needs a team

Individually you can be brilliant, but with the support of a strong team you can be amazing! As the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work! The phrase is said to be coined by John Maxwell, an American clergyman, who went on to say, “but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team”. Even the most successful entrepreneur has a team around them and it is often the hard work and determination of the team that makes sure the entrepreneurial dream becomes a reality.

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY

England captain Owen Farrell converted some magnificent tries throughout the competition, but the ability to kick a peculiarly shaped ball between two goal posts would not win a match without the hard work of his teammates, battling the opposing side tirelessly and creating opportunities for conversion.

3. Don’t be intimidated

Starting out as an entrepreneur, there will always be people who will tell you that you’re wrong, you’ve no idea, you’re living in cloud cuckoo land! It’s important to have the courage of your convictions and not to be deterred. You have a vision and you need to hold true to that – don’t be put off or intimidated by others. Face your fears, hold your head high and believe in yourself.

The Haka, a ceremonial dance complete with angry faces, stamping of feet and what could be perceived as threatening growls, was performed as expected prior to the England versus All Blacks semi-finals in the Rugby World Cup. The England team stood strong, forming a v-shaped formation and showing that they were not intimidated in any way. Their response, as reported in The Guardian said “Challenge laid down, challenge accepted”

Image from https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/oct/26/england-haka-response-eddie-jones-idea-rugby-world-cup

4. Look after yourself

We wouldn’t expect a professional team to play an energetic and bruising game like rugby, day after day without giving their bodies time to rest. World cup tournaments are planned to allow rest days between games, in recognition of the fact that teams need to rest and reform. A week between the semi-finals and the finals in the Rugby World Cup gave the England team time to recover, rest and prepare themselves mentally and physically for the all important culmination of years of training.

Creative thinking, invention, innovation and challenging the norm can be hard work. There will be days when everything falls apart and your risks are costly, times when you feel you can’t go on. It’s at times like these that you need to take time out to rest. Downtime is crucial – learning how to balance work and rest is essential to avoid burnout.

About Global Entreprenuership Week:

From the 18-24 November, Global Entrepreneurship Week inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors—introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities…Continue reading

Learn more about Global Entreprenuership Week 2019 by visiting: https://www.genglobal.org/united-kingdom


Staffordshire Business School awarded Government funding to help microbusinesses use tech to grow

30th October 2019

Staffordshire Business School has been awarded funding to support 50 microbusinesses to engage with technology to boost their productivity.

Staffordshire Business School is part of a consortium of business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter for their expertise in supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs who will deliver the programme. The Leading to Grow Programme will be offered at no cost to microbusinesses across Staffordshire.

Image: The Leading to Grow programme will run from January

Businesses that employ up to nine people will be able to apply to take part in workshops around how to use existing technologies to improve efficiency and profitability.

The funding has been made available through the government’s £8m Business Basics Programme run by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK.

Hazel Squire, Head of Department at Staffordshire Business School, said:

“As a digital University, this learning is an essential part of our offer to students and we’re delighted to be able to run The Leading to Grow Programme for small businesses in our region who may not have had access to this level of training and expertise.

This is in keeping with our Civic University commitment as it will ultimately enable businesses to grow and become more successful and have a positive impact on skills and the region’s economy. The programme will run from January and we are inviting interest from small businesses in our region who fit the criteria.”

Due to the small size and the dispersed nature of microbusinesses, they have not routinely received planned interventions by government agencies. The government is now targeting this type of business due to their potential and readiness to scale-up, and this is the first time that such a programme has been coordinated across the country.

The UK’s 1.1 million microbusinesses employ over 4 million people and contribute £533bn to the UK economy. The business schools, the Small Business Charter and the government hope to make a real impact on this important part of the economy.

Anne Kiem, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, said: “We are excited to be working with business schools to help improve the productivity of a range of microbusinesses. The pace of technological advances means that today’s small firms who embrace innovation will be tomorrow’s success stories.”

To register your interest in the Leading to Grow programme, email Eloise White at Staffordshire Business School on Eloise.White@staffs.ac.uk

The Return of the Post Study Work Visa

Dr Mohammad Ali Wasim, Lecturer, Staffordshire Business School

In this time of uncertainty where Brexit is looming round the corner there is some form of relief for international students who make their way to the UK for higher education. Despite paying a significantly higher fee they end up being unable to find work due to strict visa restrictions which make it difficult for companies to sponsor their work visas. Experts argue that this was a smart move by the government given the fact that post Brexit there could be a significant impact on the labour market and to cater to the potential shortage the post study work permit would be a ‘win, win’ scenario. The employers would be able to fill the gaps with UK qualified international students and the international students would get an opportunity to benefit from UK work experience.

It is difficult to evaluate at this stage the impact the visa regime would have as a further analysis on the impact of Brexit on different industries needs to carried out. In hindsight when the visa regime was made stricter during the tenure of Theresa May as Home Secretary in 2012, the UK found it difficult to recruit international students and the students then preferred Australia and other EU countries over the UK. Experts argue that the full benefit of the scheme would be observable once the new visa regime comes into operation in 2020 and how it pans out for the benefits of the students and whether it is extendable beyond two years. A longer term opportunity would be beneficial for both the potential UK employers and their international student employees. This scenario also needs to be looked at keeping in mind the excessively high visa and its extension fee which the international students will have to bear when shifting to the new regime.

Staffordshire University has a significant influx of international students every year and this new visa regime would help secure more international candidates who would not only add to the diversity at the University enhancing student learning but also contribute to the local economy where initially students may participate through part time jobs to gain experience. In addition, employers would also have an advantage as they will have a bigger pool of resources to recruit and potentially benefit from.

Like any government policy, consistency is the key to its success. With changing governments and their fluctuating policies the impact of potentially beneficial schemes may be limited. The hope is that given the circumstances and uncertainty due to Brexit, the return of the post study work permit would be a permanent policy decision and not impacted by the outcome of the Brexit deal. Otherwise it would be considered more of a political gimmick to gain short term support and appease the disgruntled public because of the Brexit uncertainty.

Professor Fang Zhao joins Staffordshire Business School

Greetings! My name is Fang Zhao. I’ve recently started my new post as Associate Dean – Research and Enterprise at Staffordshire Business School, Staffordshire University. I look forward to getting connected and work with you in the areas of digital transformation strategy.

Prior to joining Staffs, I was a team member in Yellagonga Wetlands Smart Monitoring Project awarded under Australian Government Smart Cities and Suburbs Program in 2018 (Total Project funding: AU$ 2.05 million). My current research focuses on digital strategy in entrepreneurship and Smart Cities strategy and community engagement. I have led and completed a large number of research projects funded by governments, industry/business and universities, including Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant and Australian Federal Government grant.

Being a global citizen and a strong advocate for international mobility and education, I have extensive MBA and other management education and teaching experience in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Fiji, and the United Kingdom.



Staffordshire Business School


In this blog you can find links to all of our courses and social media pages

Kerry Edge, Administrative Assistant Recruitment

At Staffordshire Business School we offer a range of undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses in Accounting and Finance, Business and Marketing, Esports and Tourism and Events. These courses are delivered either full-time, part-time or via distance learning. More information on each individual subject and course can be found below:




Professional Courses

We also have a selection of professional courses in Business, Marketing and Human Resource Management.

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Re-using heritage buildings for creative, cultural and innovative businesses


Prof. Jon Fairburn, Prof. Carola Boehm and Prof. Jess Power work togther on interdisciplinary issues including creative cultures, innovation and new business models. If you are interested in these issues the three professors are running an ERASMUS Staff international week 20-24th January 2020 to discuss linking creative cultures to business. Details on the link

They have recently submitted a large (several million euros) bid to examine the re-use of heritage buildings by creative and innovative industries in four second order cities across Europe.

Jess Power has a particular interest in the new materials and techniques that are being used in the textiles industry. Here she provides a report in what she found in one of our partner cities on the bid.

Prof Jess Power

Re-purposing space is something that Municipio de Guimaraes (District Council of Guimaraes, Portugal) does with sensitivity and grace. Guimaraes, the 13th largest city in Portugal, is a story of success – it has transformed into a modern contemporary city whilst retaining its cultural heritage and identity.

The area in the Northern region of Portugal remained largely untouched with only natural evolution occurring within the city’s architecture until the 1970s. This is clearly evident in the adaption and modification of buildings throughout the ages. This rich tapestry of period evolution is demonstrated beautifully in the building of Largo de Sao Francisco (once a convert/monastery) now used as a hospital. Some parts of this building date back to 1255 (Figure 1)

Figure 1 - Guimaraes
Figure 1 – Guimaraes

Historically Portugal had one of the strongest textile industries in Europe. The Guimaraes region was known specifically for its high-quality produce and craftmanship within Textiles and Leather.  Whilst the leather trade has diminished in this region, the textile industry continues to be significant to Portuguese economy. It boasts to be the largest non-food manufacturing area in terms of export, accounting for about 9% of the country’s output.  

The textile cluster (CITEVE) of the northern region of Guimaraes is known as the “cradle of the nation” providing a rich cultural heritage particularly in the trade of leather. Whilst the region moved on from leather production with the advent of industrialization, evidence of the importance of this trade and the value to its identity and “place” is evident throughout the city. Historic water baths (Figure 2) are woven into the landscape of the area and wooden tanning drums (originally used in leather processing) provide historical features and a sense of identity within modern repurposed spaces.

Figure 2 Water baths
Figure 2 Water baths

Guimaraes, like many other industrialised European regions, has witnessed a steady decline in manufacturing, primarily due to cheaper imports from elsewhere. Like other locations around the globe, this decline has resulted in the abandonment of buildings rich in cultural heritage. Often these sites historically provided a sense of place and culture and the loss has impacted on the region’s identity.   These abandoned buildings, if left for significant periods, fall into disrepair and in the worst cases local councils have no alternative but to demolish them to enable new regeneration to occur, resulting in buildings of historical relevance being lost and the region losing strong threads of its cultural identity.  Guimaraes has been ahead of the game in-terms-of capturing the cultural wealth of its textile heritage, to bring a new lease of life to the area.  During the 1970s the district council began projects, which sensitively brought to life abandoned buildings and unused space around the city.

The repurposing began at the heart of the city with the re-design of the main square (Praca de Sao Tiago). Nowadays, specific areas are clearly defined for transport, domestic living and enterprises and community gatherings. This has brought a new lease of life to the heart of the city, with a vibrant café culture housing a strong sense of belonging to locals and visitors alike. Domestic accommodation is scattered around the square, fenced between small enterprises. 

Figure 3 - Praca de Sao Tiago Main Square
Figure 3 – Praca de Sao Tiago Main Square

A key focus of the re-generation was to encapsulate local culture without stifling innovation. One incentive employed was to offer the domestic properties free cable connection to eliminate unsightly TV aerials and satellite dishes enabling the square to retain the historical features. Guimaraes was one of the first European cities to offer free Wi-Fi in a large central outdoor space. This resulted in the medieval square retaining its authentic identity, even today homes have laundry flapping on balconies.

Further to this the district council in partnership with the local community developed walkways which followed the natural flow of water throughout the city. Slabs of granite and stone cover the waterways making paths which flow into the river “Ave” which splits the area right in two.  

Figure 4 - Beneath water flows to the Ave
Figure 4 – Beneath water flows to the Ave

Many of the repurposed sites are unused tanneries (linked to the historical leather trade), the features of each site have been lovingly restored to their original state. Below (Figure 5) is the local Science Innovation Building where young people can engage with the latest technology including: artificial intelligence, robotics and 3D printing. Inside innovation is brimming, the exterior in contrast, would not misplaced in a period Western movie.

Figure 5 Science centre
Figure 5 Science centre

The University has re-purposed other decarded buildings, the Design Innovation Centre takes the heritage of the building and transforms them into modern learning spaces.

Figure 6  - Innovation centre
Figure 6 – Innovation centre

This is what makes Guimaraes attractive to young and old alike and earned it the title of European City of Culture in 2012, following on from its earlier listing (2001) as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is no wonder that the area remains so attractive to young people (who form over 30% of the local population). Many of these attend the University of Minho and our partners on the bid include several academics working at the Centre for Textile Science and Technology who early this year were involved with the 2nd International textile Design Conference “Textiles, Identity and Innovation”.

The youth hostel (Figure 7) provides an authentic example of re-purposing at its best and is a model that can and should be used across other towns and cities throughout Europe.

Figure 7 - Youth Hostel
Figure 7 – Youth Hostel

Working with international partners we aim to change historic sites of mass employment and mass production into new sites of co-created, co-managed production and consumption, it is the intension that the consortium will be leading on embedding new types of co-ownership, co-implementation and co-production via new technologies and business models and applying these to deep historic heritage-rich creative clusters and networks in order to innovate and increase productivity of specifically SMEs, bringing new economic activities to these historic areas and create economic resilience.  

Figure 8 - Prof Jess Power (4th from left) with local partners in Guimaraes
Figure 8 – Prof Jess Power (4th from left) with local partners in Guimaraes

If you are interested in these issues the three professors are running an ERASMUS Staff international week 20-24th January 2020 to discuss linking creative cultures to business. Details on the link

Jess can be emailed at eliza.power@staffs.ac.uk , she tweets @Jess_Power_

15 Great Events for Autumn 2019

There’s always lots going on in the region, music,opera, ballet, comedy, food and drink festivals. Here’s my personal pick for the next few months, Jon Fairburn.


7th British Ceramic Biennial starts (on until 13th October) all over Stoke on Trent

21st LOL Comedy Club, Regent Theatre, Hanley

22nd The 8th Annual Chilli, Cheese and Choclate Festival, Dorothy Clive Garden

25 to 29th Ginger and Spice Festival, Market Drayton


4th to 6th Stone Food and Drink Festival

8th Royal Opera House Live: Don Giovanni, Mitchell Arts Centre,

14th to 20th Word and Music Festival, Nantwich

24th Russel Kane – The Fast and the Curious, Victoria Hall Hanley


7th to 9th Stoke Beer Festival in the Spode Hall Stoke

9th Rob Beckett Wallop, Victoria Hall Hanley

15th Emeli Sande and guests, Regent Theatre, Hanley

18th The Nutcracker: Russian State Ballet, Stafford Gatehouse

19th Ed Byrne If I’m honest, Crewe Lyceum

21st The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah

26th Ben Elton, Victoria Hall Hanley

NEWSFLASH – Stoke on Trent has recently updated its My Stoke App which now has lots of great info on events – Available on Apple or Android

We see your potential at Staffordshire Business School

Carol Southall, Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire Business School

Kerry Edge, Administrative Assistant Recruitment

For many people, a new year starts in January, but in the academic world we are fast approaching a new ‘academic’ year. It is that time of year when, often following a summer break, people take time to reflect on what is important to them, with family, life and career often being the subject of that reflection. Going back to work post- summer break; receiving summer examination results; or looking for an alternative career path, this is the time when the opportunity to pursue a University education is often considered.

Clearing is an opportunity to make a new choice. Essentially, clearing matches applicants to university places that are yet to be filled. There are many reasons why courses are still available through clearing. It is an opportunity for those who may have changed their mind about where or what they want to study, it’s an opportunity for those who have missed their conditions and it’s also an opportunity for those who, on reflection, realise that the path to their chosen career lies in higher education.

The key message is that it is never too late to apply for university.

At Staffordshire Business School we understand the importance of making the right decision. We work hard to inspire you to be creative in your thinking, international in your outlook and innovative and entrepreneurial in your actions. Connecting with business, the creative and cultural sector and communities to address challenges in a time of change, we encourage our students to make a difference through innovative and transformational ideas.

For more information on the courses at Staffordshire Business School click here:

Our friendly clearing team is available now to offer advice and guidance.
Call us on 0800 590 830 or visit www.staffs.ac.uk/clearing

For updates and news, make sure you follow us on social media:

Now 37 – Staffs Uni celebrates best ever place in UK league tables

Staffordshire University achieves Gold in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework

Find a student job in England

Mohamed Adesola Adjaou, MSc Digital Marketing Management Student

Are you going to Erasmus in England and would you like to find a student job? Or do you just want to go there for a summer to work? You are in the right place, because throughout this blog, we will cover some good tips for finding a job in England… a unique opportunity to practice English, travel and discover a new way of life!

Have you been wondering since the announcement of Brexit? No worries for now, since the UK’s exit process from the European Union will take a few more years again. Students from the European Union can continue to do their Erasmus year in England and find a student job without the need for a work permit or visa.

No need to remind you that if you want to work in England, you will have to do some of your research from your home country first. The sooner you start, the more likely you are to find something you like! Of course, if you have not found anything before leaving your country, it is also possible to apply for a job directly on the spot.

How to apply?

Remember to write and present your CV so that it is suitable for a country like England. In England, the CV is not presented in the same way as in other countries. To put the odds on your side, it is best to follow the rules of English writing.

For your application, do not hesitate to highlight your level of English as it is to your advantage. But be careful not to lie, because your recruiter will realize quickly! If you do not master English perfectly, do not give up, because there are many opportunities for you as well. For small jobs, it is not your professional experiences or diplomas that will be scrutinized but your personality and your skills.

Where to apply in England?

Would you like to get an idea of ​​which sectors are recruiting the most in England?

Well, we give you some examples of the areas to which you will be most likely to have a chance to see your application accepted:

  1. Catering: Restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes and fast food outlets are constantly looking for staff. Try your luck!
  2. Call centres: very practical if you are not quite comfortable with English since many call centres regularly seek French to make or receive calls with French-speaking countries.
  3. Clothing Stores: If you plan to go to London, the most influential capital of the fashion world, and you love fashion, go to the clothing stores, who are constantly looking for students!
  4. Newspaper / flyer distribution: Are you an early bird? This job is for you. In England, many positions are available to distribute flyers to passers-by in the street or to distribute newspapers in mailboxes.
  5. Home delivery: Most common student job, home delivery of meals (Pizza Hut, Just Eat, Uber Eat), or simply goods purchased via the Internet (UPS), is a sector that is not ready to run out of steam in England.

Useful sites to find a job

You will find many job / job offers on the web. For you a list of sites that could be useful in your research has been prepared, depending on the type of job you are targeting:

Sites to find odd jobs

Sites for a professional job

England: employment agency

Specialized sites for French expatriates: