The Enterprise Project’s Small Business Growth Module has given three postgraduate students experience of the working world and seen them hugely impress a local business. Dan Branston, Jesha Effendie and Daniel Aroesti are three master’s students studying MSc Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies (CEES).
It was the LUBS5536M Small Business Growth module in the first semester that gave the students the chance to work with operational local businesses. Dan and Jesha chose to work with JudgeService: a growing business based in Harrogate, Yorkshire, which is a review and customer service specialist. After Director Neil Addley came in to speak to the students, they were tasked with helping JudgeService expand into new markets.
Dan’s idea involved estate agencies. ‘I knew JudgeService mainly worked with car dealerships,’ he says. ‘But I felt they could regulate the difficult student accommodation market and solve many of our housing problems.’
Jesha’s views were similar. ‘As an international student, my idea stemmed from my own experience,’ she adds. ‘I’d found it hard to find the right accommodation, and knew students needed a platform with credible and reliable reviews of the houses and agencies available.’
The course teachings proved hugely advantageous when presenting ideas to JudgeService. The students used SWOT analysis, competitor analysis and other course materials to create a 50-page report to detail their expansion ideas.
The company also had high praise for the thoughts of another student on the module, Daniel Aroesti. His idea that JudgeService could allow people to find the best private healthcare clinics available to them was well-received. Together, Daniel and JudgeService decided dentistry would be the easiest, and most widely used, sub-market to enter. They are keen to look at this option after Brexit.
Jesha and Dan’s work impressed JudgeService. After the module was completed, the company contacted both students and asked them to continue their work. Dan explains, ‘It was exciting to be offered this paid contract, knowing the company liked the work we’d done so far. Our programme director, Dr Steve King was hugely supportive, encouraging us to take on the part-time role alongside our studies.’
‘It was a great consulting experience for me,’ adds Jesha. ‘I could put myself in the company’s shoes to understand their visions and goals, mixing both academic study and a real-life situation.’
‘The Small Business Growth module gave me the confidence to walk into a room full of business owners and share my ideas,’ continues Dan. ‘Before the course at CEES, I’d have found that daunting, if not impossible. The course has given me the tools to approach new situations, bridging the gap between university and the real entrepreneurial world.’
Learn more about the LUBS5536M Small Business Growth module here.