Wednesday, 25 May 2022

The power of mentoring and getting a different perspective

Whether you are starting your own business or considering your next steps in your future career, having a mentor can give you a different perspective and help you realise your future ambitions. 

The Careers Network team at the University of Birmingham runs a mentoring programme with UoB alumni mentors called Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme (ALMP) and is open to undergraduate students in the penultimate year. So if you are graduating next year (2023) and would like help from a mentor then you can apply to join before the deadline date of Sunday 12 June 2022.

Don't worry if you are not in your penultimate year - there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with mentoring and you can see the latest Mentoring opportunities here

The ALMP programme offers a diverse mix of mentors from different sectors listed on the Mentoring website and there are a collection of case studies now available showcasing student experiences. We have picked out three of these stories that include mentors from an entrepreneurial background. Read the following snippets from Tommy Siddell, Iveta Pudilova and Jessica Conn with an option to find out more underneath each one:

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Maze - the international relocation start-up based at UoB The Exchange

University of Birmingham based start-up Maze is an all-in-one digital platform that streamlines the relocation process with the goal of reducing the administrative challenges faced by newcomers (foreign nationals). The business is made up of three graduates; Juliet Edjere (UoB, Law), Winner Adebayo (University of Kent, International Migration) and Sarah Nantume (UoB, Law).

Juliet: Maze services are designed to create a seamless transition for anyone moving from their home country to settle in the UK. A relocating user is able to organise and manage their move abroad with access to destination services and personalised support from orientation, home search, banking, registrations and utilities-setup: integrating into their new community.
Our Maze website features service packages suited to varied relocation needs, resources and free tools guaranteed to help people who relocate save on cost, time and eliminate stress.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

The street theatre start-up bringing community voices to life: Martha Harrison

Martha Harrison and Daryanne Scott were on the same course at University of Birmingham studying Drama with English. After graduating in 2021, they set up a theatre start-up called Calico which brings community voices to life through choreography and film.

Bringing a slice of La La Land to Birmingham, performances are often staged in outside locations in and around the city, offering thought provoking conversations to real life community voices.

Martha shares her story with B-Enterprising and explains how creating a start-up has brought freedom to their work.

Martha: We are Calico, a Birmingham-based dance-theatre duo, creating movement-driven work that facilitates important social conversations. Our work normally starts with a question; whether it’s ‘What did you do last Wednesday?’ or ‘What would you do if men had a curfew?’, and is choreographed to a score of verbatim answers from as many people as we can reach.

Friday, 13 May 2022

My Experience with the Caribbean Elective’s St Lucia Bootcamp - Sharla Peters

Sharla Peters (LLB International Law and Globalisation) reflects back on her experience as a participant in the Caribbean Elective St Lucia Boot Camp which took place earlier this year at The Exchange in Birmingham city centre. 

The enterprise Boot Camp programme organised by Jodie Bird from the B-Enterprising Team brings UoB students from different courses together in teams, to help create innovative solutions to real life challenges and social issues.

Sharla: St Lucia is one of the Caribbean islands I did not have any explicit knowledge of. I could point to it on a world map, identify its flag and maybe understand some Creole but that was it. My family background is Jamaican - of the island in the Caribbean that even the most unfamiliar still have at least heard of. As someone who had been a member of my University’s Caribbean Union for two years, I had met people from St Lucia but had not researched anything related to its government until I was presented with the opportunity to modify it with a group of other law and politics students.

Monday, 25 April 2022

The UoB start-up that helps International students in the UK and tips from its founder Ashily Feng

Ashily Feng graduated from the University of Birmingham with a Marketing and Communications masters in 2018 before creating her own start-up. Ash & Even UK Ltd is a digital platform which actively supports International students during the transition between home and their chosen UK university.

The business connects students (who may be unfamiliar with the UK) with reputable service providers which includes; legal services, university application consultants and social events. Ashily wants to give International students a positive experience and ensure they avoid the trap she fell into as a new student in the UK.


Ashily: I spent £9,000 on a career coaching programme in the UK and it turned out to be a scam with the organisation targeting International students like me. I had no idea how to seek legal justice. Sadly, I am just one of many and it was made even more difficult for me by the language barrier and cultural difference. Therefore, I made a decision to create a brand that supports international students’ adventures through bespoke services where they can be understood and inspired. I wanted to unapologetically create a space where our clients have the best start possible and explore their life in the UK without hassle. 

Friday, 22 April 2022

How this Birmingham eSports start-up is changing lives through gaming

Team Norse Thunder is a Birmingham based eSports organisation that uses the power of gaming to bring people together to fight social isolation and loneliness. The business was founded by University of Birmingham Masters graduate Dave Scotford and includes over 250 active members and a core staff of 6 people.

In this fast-paced and ever progressing digital age the eSports market has been growing rapidly with some estimations reporting that there will be 1billion global viewers by 2025. So with such growing popularity it is perhaps no coincidence to learn that this year's Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham will include competitive eSports competitions for the very first time in its history and who knows, maybe the Olympics will follow suit one day too.

On first inspection you would be forgiven for thinking this business has a sole focus on competitive gaming, after all some of the players are ranked in the top 32 in Europe. But if you dig a little deeper there is something quite extraordinary at work going on behind the scenes which actively fosters positivity and creates opportunities for young people.

I sat down with Dave Scotford in the Working Lounge of The Exchange to find out more about this fantastic eSports story and learn how his own past experiences of loneliness has had such an impact on the direction of the organisation.

Thursday, 14 April 2022

The lash start-up helping students to relax during the exam period - Efiah Clifford-Brown

Efiah Clifford-Brown is an Anthropology and African Studies undergraduate at the University of Birmingham and she has recently created a start-up business called Lashes By Fi.

The company is a home-based business providing beauty treatments and offers customers a space to create relaxation. 

Efiah: I came up with the idea after seeing a few people I knew start an eyelash extension business during lockdown. I was stressed during my exam period at university and started getting my lashes done by someone I knew. 

Then I began thinking how amazing it would be to offer services from my own business and help fellow students relax with my own beauty treatments. I'm now qualified in eyelash extensions and love having my clients leave my salon feeling relaxed and refreshed.