#NotAnotherInternship: New programme promises empowered futures for entrepreneurs and University students across London
Empowering Futures is a social enterprise which matches start-up entrepreneurs with University Students to collaborate on specific projects. The entrepreneurs get the much needed support businesses need during the start-up phase and students get the opportunity to see how to start a business from scratch as well as work experience by delivering a project over a 12 week period. The outcome is students have the experience and skills to take their own business ideas and make them a reality.
Talking about the new programme, Laura Vanessa Munoz, Founder and Chief Empowering Officer at Empowering Futures says: “We know that obtaining a degree is a full time commitment but university students need quality work experience before they graduate to secure a job in their chosen career. At the same time, entrepreneurs developing a business in the start-up phase need support and to learn to manage and grow a great team.”
Guidelines are in place, such as the project must have specific targets and outcomes. Students can work remotely but we encourage them to meet the entrepreneur once a week and Empowering Futures monitor every step of the project throughout to ensure that the project is successful for both partners.
The programme was piloted last year with around 10 projects to make sure the formula was right. Sasha Afanasieva, Founder of Blubel, an app which turns humble bicycle bell into an IoT satnav, was one of the entrepreneurs who took part of Empowering Futures and was matched with Floris Dorgelo, driven and talented recent graduate who wanted to acquire more experience in Marketing. They collaborated on marketing related activities, particularly Floris helped build the new Blubel community and now they are working on different projects after collaborating together for over 10 weeks.
Another entrepreneur in the programme was Tamara Sapovalova, Founder of Sapovalova Coaching and she said “Being part of Empowering Futures’ pilot programme was a fantastic experience not only because it is based on a concept I strongly believe in, working collaboratively, sharing knowledge, experiences and helping others. Having the additional support made a huge difference in how quickly things developed. Empowering Futures would not only match you with a driven University student but also takes in to consideration what type of person would be more suitable to work with you. Making it and enriching experience from both sides.”
Laura adds: “We match entrepreneurs and students according to their skills, interests and needs so that both parties get maximum benefit from the partnership. The deadline for enrolling on the autumn cohort is 5th September 2016”.
Empowering Futures is #NotAnotherInternship scheme, it is a project based skills development programme and there are three cohorts per year. Spaces are limited to provide the high quality training and support both parties need to acquire the skills and experience desired. As the 120hrs project is spread over 12 weeks, students can dedicate 10 to 14 hours per week on their projects whether they are a full or part-time student.
Empowering Futures launch party, March 2016