Be The Spark ignites innovation-driven entrepreneurship across Wales at USW event

City Campus Newport

BeTheSpark was held at USW's Newport Campus

There were more than 80 attendees at the first ever BeTheSpark event, which was sponsored by Welsh Government Further and Higher Education and held at the University of South Wales’s Newport Campus.

The two-day Entrepreneurship Forum was delivered in association with the Welsh Government and USW Exchange, and was an opportunity for higher and further education institutions throughout Wales to come together and share their experiences and best practice.

The aim was to help create an all-Wales network to drive forward entrepreneurship across the economy and institutions.

There were around 50 parallel presentations from each of the Welsh HE and FE institutions, which shared best practice on HE/FE Business Links, SME support programmes, Enterprise and entrepreneurship development initiatives, and spin-off/start-up programmes.

Organiser of the event, Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, Assistant Pro Vice Chancellor at USW, said:  “The higher and further education sector in Wales has a vital role to play in equipping students with the enterprise skills needed to not only establish a new business but to be entrepreneurial and innovative within other organisations.

“For the first time, we are bringing universities and colleges in Wales together to share their experiences in developing programmes to support links with industry, enterprise development and graduate spin-offs.

“With over 50 presentations over the two days, this will be a real opportunity to learn about best practice and to create a network of academics and teachers to take this agenda forward in the future”

Attendees and speakers include Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services Alun Davies, Prof Jones-Evans, Professor Simon Gibson, USW Vice-Chancellor Professor Julie Lydon, and special guest, Executive Director of the MIT Legatum Centre for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT, Georgina Campbell.