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The Open University welcomes six Entrepreneurs in Residence to help aspiring business owners

The Open University (OU) is thrilled to announce the addition of six dynamic Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) who will be working with the university to help aspiring business owners.

The six business professionals bring a wealth of experience and expertise to support the OU’s Open Business Creators project, a ground-breaking entrepreneurship initiative that provides support to staff, students and alumni who are looking to grow their businesses and ideas.

The Open Business Creators programme is designed to empower individuals across the four UK nations to embark and progress on their entrepreneurial journeys.

By equipping participants with tools and resources, facilitating virtual events, and offering a mentorship programme, the initiative aims to cultivate a new generation of business creators.

Aligned with the university’s commitment to opening up opportunities, the programme provides mentorship, as well as access to cutting-edge facilities and seed investment.

The new Entrepreneurs in Residence at the OU will serve as a driving force for entrepreneurship and innovation within the OU community, offering invaluable guidance to employers, OU partners, students, staff, and alumni.

By sharing their knowledge and real-world experiences, the EIRs will help individuals develop the essential skills needed to navigate the challenges of launching and growing a business.

The Open University has always had an ethos of opening up access to knowledge and skills. We know that amongst our staff, students, partner organisations and the wider public, there are a multitude of commercial ideas that could drive innovation forward and help society.

The Open Business Creators and Entrepreneurs in Residence projects helps to deliver the skills, mentoring and support needed to make these ideas a reality.”

Professor Kevin Shakesheff
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at The Open University

Introducing the Entrepreneurs in Residence at the OU

Julian Hall

  • Founder of Ultra Education and co-founder of Take Your Shot Studios.
  • Certified business mentor, speaker, author, and co-writer of three university degrees in entrepreneurship.
  • Recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education.

Safaraz Ali

  • Founder of Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance and CEO of Pathway group.
  • Social entrepreneur with a focus on skills, employability, and the care sector.
  • Published business author and diversity, equality and inclusion champion.

Mags Byrne

  • Founder of Estars and First for Players.
  • Former CEO and director at the English Premier League, Football Association England, and England Boxing.
  • Dual qualified lawyer in Wales, England, and the Republic of Ireland.

Christian Kumar

  • CEO of Capital Kinetics and MedTech Makers Lab.
  • Innovator, investor, and leader in MedTech, Energy, and Private Equity.

Ravinder Gino Hoonjan

  • Director at Personal Progress and Bright Minds Consulting.
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner and mindset coach specialising in company culture and mental health.

Alex Cole

  • CEO of Tin Ventures.
  • Venture builder, ESG practitioner, and Chair of the West Midlands Race Equality Taskforce.

Get involved

The OU will be relaunching the Open Business Creators Fund in January. With grants from £1,000 to £10,000 provided by the Higher Education Innovation Fund and Santander Universities, this funding competition will support individuals from the idea stage through to those running an early stage start-up.

Watch this space for more details about the competition and how to apply. In the meantime, those interested in taking part can contact with any questions.

Visit the Entrepreneurs Hub from the OU Careers & Employability Services team for advice on starting your business and the support available.

Take a free OpenLearn Entrepreneurship short course to help you transform your business idea into a reality.

This article was originally published on the OU news website, read the original article.