The Dragon and The Apprentice combine to motive Leeds students

Paphitis will be back to talk about the BA Honours degree in Enterprise Development at Huddersfield University which is already making headlines with students developing and delivering their ideas as successful businesses.
The ‘Dragon’ will also be joined on stage by the successful entrepreneurs Sarah Longthorn and Laura Booth from WedgeWelly and Neil Westwood from Magic Whiteboard.
Prior to Theo’s arrival Claire Young, entrepreneur and finalist of The Apprentice 2008, will be presenting a short motivational speech passing on her top tips to students on how to climb the ladder or start a business.
Claire’s business TEENBIZ sets the students up perfectly to apply to the Enterprise Development degree by giving them an ideal portfolio and valuable experience to build on.
The degree course has been dubbed as the ‘ pracademic’ because the students will learn by and learn from doing, so that what they learn in lectures has an immediate practical value.
Apprentice finalist: Claire Young
“This pracademic is unique – what I really like is the combination of the practical and academic. This is a great opportunity for people who want to be entrepreneurial to do a degree that actually relates to what they want to do,” so says Theo Paphitis.
Paphitis, who has supported the degree for the past three years, is now seeing signs of success with several businesses making headway. For example: student Talent Mutyavaviri is on the fast track to success by setting up his own recruitment company. Jeffrey Postlethwaite and partner are setting up Fasta Pasta Bar in the town’s Queensgate Market; his twin brother Matthew is planning to launch a new Alco-pop, AWSUM, in the autumn…
Second year student Kirill Owen from Leeds has launched his father’s franchise proto-type Whitebox Photography earlier in the year and has already acquired four licence sales with a further eight currently being developed.
Kirill said “This degree allows you to consider ideas, test them and hopefully find the one that’s going to make it big”…Whitebox Photography is a modular fun family portraiture system which has ‘gone crazy’ with interest in Leeds. Licensee Amanda Vincent said “We have done over 1000 families at the Royal Armouries Museum in the past twelve months which has been a brilliant start to running my own pod.”
Professor John Thompson, founder and director of the course and Roger M Bale Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Huddersfield, said “Students come with a whole raft of ideas and the contribution by Theo and other business people is vital to the course to help to steer the students in the right direction, as well as them being supported by University staff.”
In the first year the course concentrates upon on identifying and screening a number of ideas to find a real opportunity worth pursuing. The second year is all about developing this opportunity and starting a business, while at the same time learning the nuts and bolts of business discipline, such as sales, marketing and book-keeping, in modules that are taught throughout the year.
In the third year the business is up-and-running and credits are gained from this experiential learning. The University provides support so that it is clear where the student is going with the business – to develop it as a franchise, for example, or grow it to a certain size and then sell it.
Paphitis himself will give a masterclass at Alea after the event to students on the course.