Caroline Wherritt is Founder and Chief Executive of Re:Work, a Yorkshire based social enterprise. An alumna of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme, she is passionate about supporting our MSc Enterprise & Entrepreneurship students and sharing her own experiences of launching a successful business. She was invited by the Centre of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies (CEES) to become an enterprise ambassador in 2014.
She said: “To gain greater experience of running a business, it’s vital that students can work on practical real-world projects, learn sought-after skills, and seize opportunities to gain experience outside of their degrees.
I’m honoured to be an enterprise ambassador for such a game-changing institution, contributing to the programme and championing other socially-driven entrepreneurs.
CEES provides research-based teaching and practical support to its postgraduate enterprise students. Its enterprise ambassadors play a key role in this. They give students the opportunity to engage in creative learning activities, such as setting up pop-up businesses and acting as consultants to external organisations. They also share their expertise and experience with students, inspiring them with insights into their own businesses and the routes they took to get there.
Enterprise ambassadors come from a diverse range of business sectors. Their role involves encouraging an entrepreneurial approach that can be embedded into the University, and helping students understand how their enterprise education fits with a wider perspective of business. They collaborate with the University by:
- delivering guest lectures
- hosting company consultancy projects and visits
- participating in workshops and employability days
Ambassador-run workshops include a Dragons Den-style competition, which is judged by the team of experts. This enables students to explore ideas for starting an enterprise and gives them experience of pitching their ideas to others.
Caroline said: “I feel like I’m part of a vibrant community committed to the growth of enterprise in the University, the region and nationally and I see a genuine entrepreneurial spirit and ambition in all the students.
The social enterprise business model in place at CEES is at the heart of the strategic vision throughout the University and massively influences student experience. This is evident as they go on to graduate as successful entrepreneurs, confident in starting their own business or working for an existing business in an entrepreneurial way.