Students Staff

13 November 2012

Original BBC Dragon Doug Richard to deliver new Challenge Workshops at Essex

Doug Richard

Doug Richard is leading Challenge Workshops at the University of Essex

The University of Essex will be one of the first universities in the UK to host Challenge Workshops led by original BBC Dragon Doug Richard as part of a Government-backed scheme to promote entrepreneurial values and skills within higher education.

The Challenge Workshops are part of a national programme of events being led by the Entrepreneurial Institution. The event at the University’s Colchester Campus on Wednesday 28 November is open to university and college managers, researchers, lecturers, teachers and students from across the region and beyond.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is sponsoring the workshops which aim to explore the ways in which those working and studying at UK universities can fully engage with entrepreneurship.

The programme is being developed by serial entrepreneur and angel investor Mr Richard, founder of School for Startups, in partnership with the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE), Vitae, Gazelle and NACUE – a charity promoting entrepreneurship amongst students.

The University already has strong connections with Mr Richard, who received an honorary degree from Essex in 2009.

Mr Richard said: “The UK needs entrepreneurs now more than ever, and we have to start tapping into the abundance of innovative talent that British universities and colleges have, and help them to unleash their entrepreneurial potential. There are so many brilliant people out there who can be part of Britain’s entrepreneurial future, and I can’t wait to meet them and get down to business.”

Dr Janice Pittis, Research and Enterprise Office Director at Essex, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Challenge Workshops which are designed to offer intensive teaching, training and support to staff and students. They have the potential to galvanise real change within institutions across the UK by embedding entrepreneurial values and skills within their work.

“Entrepreneurship is already nurtured at Essex. We aim to empower our students to succeed in whatever professional path they choose and support them by nurturing ambition and independence of thought to help them achieve their aspirations and gain the entrepreneurial skills and attitude that will give them the competitive edge.”

The Entrepreneurial Institution programme aims to stimulate a more entrepreneurial approach within universities, create and develop more entrepreneurial opportunities, and encourage research activity to have a greater economic impact.

The Entrepreneurial Institution workshops will show how embedding entrepreneurial values at the heart of an institution will encourage innovation amongst managers, researchers, teachers and students.

The workshops also help identify all the ways in which research can impact on society and how to identify when research has the potential to be a profitable business.

The Entrepreneurship Institution believes enterprise can be presented as a way of thinking, applicable to all forms of teaching rather than a stand-alone subject.

Meanwhile, students can benefit from developing an entrepreneurial skillset which will increase their employability and their likelihood of business success while developing their ability to identify when an idea has the potential to be a profitable business.

Book a place at the workshop at:


Note to Editor

For more information about the event please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 874377 or e-mail:

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