MSc Enterprise and Business Creation – my story so far by Matthew West

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Before starting the course I really did not know what to expect; especially considering the step up from undergraduate to Masters. I felt the course would teach me the basics of running a business and help me create a simple business plan then I would go into the big, scary world to try and develop it and secure funding.

But the course has been so much better than I initially anticipated. From the first week, where we were given the City Centre Challenge, I knew this was going to be more than sitting in a lecture theatre every day listening to the lecturer talk about cash flow statements or marketing strategy.

Getting onto the actual content of learning: accounting, finance, marketing and entrepreneurship in the first semester followed by law, operations and running a business in the second semester. Essential topics for any budding entrepreneur. But what is good about these lessons is everything we learn goes into the business plan in some form or another. For a lot of courses some of the information may not be relevant; but everything we learn goes into the business plan. There’s a reason for getting up at 9am and attending every lecture! I’ve learnt so much in my time here to better equip myself in running a business.

In addition, the lecturers and staff are very supportive in developing our business ideas. I’ve made a lot of friends, on the course, and it’s great to see such a variety of creative business ideas. Some of the group are a little further along with their business plans and have other experiences; but we’re all in the same boat. We help each other and want each other to succeed. We all have different mind-sets and skills. My classmates and lecturers will suggest something and I would think why haven’t I thought about that for my business plan. Having the course in the Enterprise Centre, you get that community feel with businesses a two minute walk away from the classroom.

Learning is one side of the dice. Opportunities play a key role. We have received talks from law firms, accountants, entrepreneurs and businesses. As well as a variety of courses, practical classes and networking events. Learning can only get you so far so you need to see these real life experiences. What makes this course exciting is it is very hands on and practical. What you put in, you get out. If you put in the effort, time and use the resources available you will achieve something by the end of it.

So where I am now? I’m still a long way off starting my business but I am a lot further than 6 months ago when I just had a simple idea in my head. I have completed a business plan – not a very good one! But something I can build on and improve. I have just received £500 funding through the Santander ‘Try it’ Award and I’m in the process of doing some market research and assembling my second business plan.

Before I started I believed my business idea was fiction; something that would never be plausible for me to do. But this course has given me the opportunity to make it; so if anyone has got a brilliant idea and wants to turn it into reality this is the course for you!

Post by Matthew West, who is studying on our MSc Enterprise and Business Creation course.

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