Budding entrepreneurs showcase to international conference

08 September 2017

Entrepreneurs from around the globe gathered at Glasgow Caledonian Univeristy (GCU) for the first International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference (IEEC) to be hosted by the University.

The event celebrated enterprise, start-up companies and social innovation.

Start-up companies Hippo & Hedgehog, a breakfast drink made from super fruit, and Deep Fried Game, which produced a virtual reality game, showcased their products.

Co-Founder of Hippo & Hedgehog, Isatou Njai, an International Business graduate, praised the help of the University’s business incubator, Uhatch. She said: “The help from the University and Uhatch in general has been phenomenal. I received a grant at a crucial time in our business and aside from the financial help, the networking opportunities and being part of a network of people that think like you, will drive your business forward.” The start-up is nominated for a Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Award in October.

Enactus students Thomas Bertlome, Jenny Styrman, Laura Hein, and Roma Shafiq presented alongside Dr Alec Wersun on learning through social innovation. The students also addressed delegates in the Glasgow City Chambers, where they discussed entrepreneurship in action with Glasgow communities.

Student Roma Safiq encouraged every student to get involved. She said: “You can be an engineer, a lawyer or a business student. You will learn from it and grow from it by stepping outside your comfort zone.”

The University was represented by Professors Cam Donaldson, John Lennon, Bruce Wood, Dr Anne Smith and Dr Alec Wersun.

Professor John Lennon, Director of the University's entrepreneurial hub, said: "Entrepreneurship and creativity is a vital component of the student journey and is at the centre of education. Encouraging creativity and innovation are key to the country's economy and its growth, and as a bold, ambitious and internationally-networked University, we are delighted to celebrate with entrepreneurs and educators from across the globe."

Delegates heard from a host of speakers including Dr Mick Jackson, Founder and CEO of WildHearts Group, hailed GCU’s Professor Muhammad Yunus the inspiration behind his own successful social enterprise, which has worked with more than 40,000 children in 21 countries through its award-winning Micro-Tyco programme. Keynotes were delivered by Elin McCallum, Founder and Director of Bantani Education; Professor Heidi Neck and Jeffry A. Timmons, Babson College, and Professor Brian MacCraith, Dublin City University.