Edward Mbanasor, student in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, is completing an intercalated MSc degree combining MBChB Medicine and Surgery with Enterprise.
The beginnings of a business idea
Prior to attending The University of Leeds, Edward studied Clinical Sciences at University of Bradford, which is where his business idea first took shape. ‘I was finding it difficult to balance regular exercise with my studies,’ explains Edward. ‘Yet when another student at the gym asked me for some advice about the equipment and exercises, I suddenly had an idea.’
The other student explained to Edward that he’d suffered an injury at the gym, but didn’t have much support to overcome it and carry on his training. ‘I saw a need for online personal training for students, so they could access the support they required without having to pay the same high price as they would for in-person training,’ says Edward. After graduating from University of Bradford, and following a Masters in Exercise and Physiology at Loughborough, Edward started to develop his business idea the summer before beginning his Masters at The University of Leeds.
Combining medicine with enterprise
Edward wanted to combine his personal training experience, medical studies and the chance to put his business plan in place. However, when he applied to study medicine, he wasn’t initially aware of the chance to combine medicine and surgery with enterprise. ‘In my first year of medical school, I discovered that The University of Leeds offered an opportunity for medical students to combine their studies with an enterprise programme,’ Edward explains.
I wanted to study enterprise alongside medicine so I could find out more about running a business, furthering my business idea backed by knowledge and support.
Edward began studying the intercalated MBChB Medicine and Surgery with Enterprise degree during his second year of medical school. ‘My primary motivation for studying medicine with enterprise was to learn how to combine my medical knowledge with entrepreneurship to help develop entrepreneurial initiatives. I wanted to support the NHS and apply my learnings to my business idea, and it was clear The Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies (CEES) offered the modules that could help me to do this with the Innovation, Development, Enterprise, Leadership & Safety (IDEALS) strand of the MBChB curriculum.’
Involvement with CEES enterprise programmes
Edward quickly became part of launching the MBChB Enterprise Programme workshop series run by Leeds School of Medicine. The programme held talks from clinical entrepreneurs and healthcare-tech companies.
‘The talks were student-led, but I contacted the speakers and organised the talks with the support of Enterprise Academic Lead Programme Professor Julian Scott and board member Dr William Bolton,’ says Edward. ‘I wanted people to hear from medical professionals who had also been successful in enterprise, such as a surgeon who created a digital health start-up to support people with musculoskeletal diseases. These were doctors who’d also been successful in enterprise before, after, or alongside their medical careers, so hearing from them was invaluable.’
Growing ideas through scholarship
It was Edward’s continuing relationship with Spark, the university’s business start-up team, that led him to find out about the enterprise scholarship in his second year at Leeds. He applied, filling in a form to explain why he wanted to be a scholar, and he what he wanted to achieve through the experience. ‘I was lucky enough to be selected for an interview, where I was given the opportunity to explain my business idea,’ says Edward. ‘I was awarded the scholarship, and I am looking forward to seeing how it helps my business venture to grow.’
Currently a third year student, Edward is due to graduate in 2024. ‘I’ll continue with clinical placements at various different GPs and hospitals. Next year I’m taking a year out of medicine and doing a Masters in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. It’s an incredible opportunity to gain knowledge and skills to support my career ambition of becoming a clinical entrepreneur.’
‘Through CEES and the modules they offer, I’ll be able to dedicate a full year to learning about business from successful entrepreneurs and have the space to completely focus on my business idea,’ add Edward.
This enterprise study will give me experience and knowledge I’d otherwise struggle to gain, without having to leave my medical career behind.
After graduating, Edward plans to take his business forward while still practising as a doctor. ‘What I love about this programme of enterprise study with medicine is that the university is encouraging doctors and medical students to pursue other business interests,’ praises Edward. ‘There’s no need to decide between the two career paths, giving us many opportunities for satisfaction and success.’